Portsmouth pensioners feel isolated, says survey

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NEARLY two thirds of pensioners in Portsmouth feel they suffer from isolation.

A survey by prospective Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond also found that 90 per cent of pensioners want to stay in their own home rather than go into residential care.

The questionnaire has prompted Ms Drummond to look into setting up a US-style senior citizen centre in the city to tackle the issue of loneliness.

‘The feelings of isolation that came through from our research is a big concern that need to be addressed by everyone in Portsmouth,’ said Ms Drummond. ‘Older people are also saying loud and clear they want to stay in their own homes and we should be listening to them.’

The survey, sent to 15,000 pensioners in the Portsmouth South constituency, also discovered that more than a third of older people found it difficult to get a GP appointment in good time. Of the 1,217 replies, 59 per cent said that isolation was a problem. The survey results will be shared with the city council and Age UK to see what can be done locally – including improving social care so older people can stay in their own homes.

Ms Drummond added: ‘The survey has highlighted there are major issues for the expanding population of older people here in Portsmouth that authorities, politicians and charities need to look at.’

She added older people wanting to remain at home and not go into residential care was no surprise, but it meant that funding more home care is a priority.

‘It’s great that people want to stay in their own home but we need to make sure that visits by carers are longer so people are looked after properly,’ said Ms Drummond.

‘It’s also even more important that we sort out the loneliness issue if people are to stay in the community.’