David Halpern, whose Behavioural Insight Team advises the Prime Minister on the Big Society agenda, has said that loneliness is more deadly than smoking for pensioners and that returning to work improves their quality of life.
But Samantha Acton, owner of Bournemouth-based Domestic Angels, said: “Using loneliness to justify increasing the retirement age is grasping at straws.
“If Mr Halpern genuinely wants to address the massive issue of loneliness amongst pensioners, he would be looking to maximise the good work carried out by many charitable organisations. They reach out to those affected by loneliness and in turn these people become involved in either the same or other charitable work.”
Samantha also works with Southbourne Creative Hub and has been interviewed by researchers from the National Development Team for Inclusion as part of a project funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation social research charity for the European Year of Active Aging and Solidarity Between the Ages.