Think back to yesterday. How often did someone ask how you were? On the phone, in the street, on email? Now, imagine that it is the evening and you haven’t spoken to a single soul all day and only have the TV or a pet for company – all day, every day.
Loneliness is predicted to be the next great health crisis, with proven links to malnutrition and dementia and, as bus services decline and families move apart, social isolation in rural areas becomes more acute.