Age UK and the Masonic Charitable Foundation have joined forces to launch a new, three-year programme to help older people feel less lonely and get the most out of life.
A £1 million grant from the Masonic Charitable Foundation will fund the Later Life Goals programme, which will provide one-to-one support to 10,000 older people who are going through major transitions in their lives, such as bereavement, serious health diagnosis or a partner going to live in a care home. Age UK research shows that significant life moments like these can be triggers for older people becoming more isolated and feeling lonelier. The new programme aims to support people through these pivotal life moments to help them plan ahead, stay connected and feel less lonely.
Loneliness can have a serious impact on older people’s physical and mental health. Research has shown that being lonely can be as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
Later Life Goals will be run across England and Wales by 12 local Age UKs and one Age Cymru. Trained advisors will provide each older person with tailored support that is right for them, be that information, advice or links to services or social activities.
The Masonic Charitable Foundation is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: “We’re very excited to launch Later Life Goals with the Masonic Charitable Foundation. The programme provides a real opportunity to improve the wellbeing of thousands of older people as they face difficult, life-changing events.
“We’re very grateful to Masonic Charitable Foundation for their generous grant which will allow Age UK to support more older people when they need us most.”
David Innes, Chief Executive of the Masonic Charitable Foundation said:
“We’re very pleased to be able to work closely with Age UK to help with one of the most difficult issues affecting older people today. Loneliness not only makes people miserable, but can have a very serious impact on physical health.”