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Third of elderly people are lonely

27 September 2012

Third of elderly people are lonely

Age UK and YouthNet have discovered that 34% of people over 65 admitted to feeling lonely either some, most or all of the time.

The two charities have calculated that the average Briton lives within 71 yards of someone suffering from loneliness – or 18 yards in some cities.

The highest figures of loneliness were found in areas populated with a higher than average number of people over the age of 65.  The Yorkshire and Humber region reported 44% of people feeling lonely and 42% in the entire North East region.

1,000 people were involved in the survey, which also looked at the under 25’s, in an effort to recruit young people to help the elderly get online.

Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director General of Age UK said,”Living in isolation and loneliness is a stark reality for too many people in later life, and feelings of loneliness can have a significantly adverse effect on physical and mental well-being.   This new service is an important step in helping to reduce isolation and loneliness. Bringing older and younger people together in their local communities through internet training sessions will help open up new worlds both on and offline.”

Emma Thomas, chief executive of YouthNet, said, “There is so much that young people can contribute to society, and helping older people become more internet savvy is a great example of this.”