We often see loneliness described as a hidden epidemic. But the truth is that loneliness is all around us. And it is particularly prevalent among older generations.
Perhaps the biggest misconception of loneliness is what it actually is. Rather than the feeling of being alone, loneliness is more about the quality of the relationships we have with others.
How big a problem is loneliness in the UK?
Perhaps the most shocking statistic about loneliness in the UK is that, according to the British Red Cross and Co-op, 81% of us agree there are many actions we can take on a daily basis to help people feeling lonely.
If we all took those actions, how much of a significant impact could that have on the UK’s loneliness epidemic?
As you can see from our infographic, there is scope to have a massive positive impact on loneliness, especially when:
- Nearly four million over 65s say the television is their main form of company
- Loneliness causes and contributes to depression, which affects more than a fifth of men and nearly 30% of women over 65
- 38% of people suffering from dementia said they lost friends after their diagnosis
Loneliness causes and contributes to depression, which affects more than a fifth of men and nearly 30% of women over 65
38% of people suffering from dementia said they lost friends after their diagnosis
Reducing someone’s feelings of loneliness might take as little as sending them a message or popping into their house to check on them and have a cup of tea. Doing something like that will take a minimal amount of time or effort for most of us, but could have a profound impact on the person feeling alone.
People who are feeling lonely are less likely to ask for help or say they’re feeling lonely, too, so it’s up to all of us to take the first steps and help stop people feeling this way.
At AgeGroup, our digital universe is designed to connect seniors who are feeling lonely so they can share experiences, build new friendships, and understand how they can beat loneliness for good.
To aid this journey, we’ll shortly be launching AgeMeet, a 100% free to use platform that will allow up to four people to meet safely and securely online via video call to discuss any specific topic.