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Dying alone

February 16, 2009

Tragic story on the weekend – big increase in the number of people dying with no friends or family to bury them.  Councils are picking up the tab, especially since the DWP is underfunding state-aided funerals. 

In our report on services for older people, one of the areas we flagged in need of attention was keeping older people connected.  Thinking the state has any role in helping people make friends might seem daft, but if there are simple things we can do, there is likely to be a business case for it (besides the fact that dying alone is everyone’s worst nightmare).  Older people who are isolated and alone are much more likely to need costly health and social care.  And if this reporting is right, a funeral on the state.

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