The Statistics: Loneliness and social isolation in the United Kingdom
Over half (51%) of all people aged 75 years and over live alone.
Nearly 50% of older people say that television or pets are their main form of company.
Over 1 million older people say they are always lonely or often feel lonely.
Nearly a quarter (24%) of pensioners do not go out socially, or have social contact of any type, at least once a month.
17% of older people are in contact with family, friends and neighbours less than once a week and 11% are in contact less than once a month.
12% of older people feel trapped in their own home
63% of adults aged 52 or over who have been widowed, and 51% of the same group who are separated or divorced report, feeling lonely some of the time or often.
59% of adults aged over 52 who report poor health say they feel lonely some of the time or often, compared to 21% who say they are in excellent health
A higher percentage of women than men report feeling lonely some of the time or often
A whole new generation has never been so connected - and technology has
played a major part in that. Social interaction is no longer limited to being
in the same room, not even on the same continent. Social media connects
more people than ever before and seeing the face of a friend or relative on
a screen on your smartphone, tablet or PC has a similar social effect on your
psychology as actually being in the same room with them.
But there is also a generation that has never been so disconnected. If you are not a user of social media, you have retired, your local Pub has shut or have no access to community centres or other meeting places then isolation and loneliness can begin to dominate your life and deteriorate your health. The statistics below are frightening and with an ever ageing population there are signs this will only get worse.
In the end nothing can replace real, physical human interaction but bringing people together using modern technology has its place. This is where ‘Internet for all’ comes in; introducing version of this technology to an older generation to diminish isolation and loneliness and even assist in their health and welfare.