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.