Loneliness

Loneliness – The Facts

Watch this Channel 4 News Video on loneliness

 Did you know that in the UK?

  • 1 in 3 older people are affected by loneliness;
  • 1 in 10 of the entire older population say they often feel lonely;
  • Half of all older people in the UK consider TV to be their main form of company;
  • Over half a million older people leave their house once a week or less;
  • Nearly half of all people aged 75 and over live alone;
  • A saddening 450,000 older people in the UK spent last Christmas alone;
  • 60 older people a week die alone;
  • As the UK population is living longer, the number of people aged 80 years and older is projected to almost double by 2030;
  • The overall increase of older people reporting loneliness by 2030 will be around 40%?

Why does it matter?

  • Being lonely has a significant and lasting effect on blood pressure; lonely individuals have higher blood pressure than their less lonely peers;
  • Loneliness is as big a risk to health as smoking and obesity;
  • Loneliness is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease;
  • 1 in 10 older people visit their GP because they are lonely.

Why are we lonely?

  • Being older is a crucial predictor of loneliness and that by 2030 demographic change alone is projected to drive up the number of lonely older people in the UK by 40%;
  • There is a strong link between having low levels of income and being lonely – older people in poverty suffer lower frequency of social contacts;
  • 16% of us say we would like to offer to do something to help an older person, but are too afraid to do so;
  • 15% of us say we would like to do something kind for an older person, but can’t find the time.