The Government must provide more support for older people suffering loneliness and restore the 'crumbling' social care system, campaigners have demanded.
Age UK says it is already known that about one million older people receive no care support and new research shows about 300,000 of them are suffering chronic loneliness.
The new analysis comes as Age UK handed in a petition to 10 Downing Street calling on the Government to do more to help prevent and tackle loneliness among older people.
The charity says loneliness not only makes life miserable but also undermines an older person’s resilience and makes them more susceptible to illness.
It says combatting loneliness more effectively would not only improve their quality of life but also ultimately help reduce demands on the NHS.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: 'These statistics are a challenge to government policy and they are a wake-up call for the rest of us too.
'They mean there are a lot of very lonely and isolated older people around us, and we all have a responsibility to do more to help them.
'Government should fund more local support for lonely older people and restore our crumbling social care system.'