New research reveals impact of loneliness

05 March 2014

According to new research commissioned by Royal Voluntary Service, 70 per cent of older men living alone in Britain who feel lonely do so because their partner has passed away.

The research reveals the extent to which feelings of loneliness as a result of bereavement affect the lives of older men. 58 per cent of men over 75 who feel lonely as a result of losing their partner say they have lost their social life, 43 per cent admit to losing their confidence and more than a third (34 per cent) no longer feel comfortable going out and socialising.

For many older men, it’s about missing having someone to share hobbies with, or a friend to go to the pub to watch the match with, or someone to give you a lift to the shops.

David McCullough, Chief Executive at Royal Voluntary Service, said: “We are all aware that there are hundreds of thousands of older people suffering from loneliness in Great Britain but many men are facing loneliness and not asking for help. As we get older and lose our friends and family we often lose touch with the activities that used to give us pleasure such as supporting the local rugby team, taking walks with a friend or going out for a meal or a pint at the pub.”

John Hume, Chief Executive – People’s Health Trust, said: “We have invested in 37 local projects across Britain that are run by Royal Voluntary Service - projects that make a huge difference to the lives of hundreds of older people, especially those who live in rural areas and for whom using public transport can be particularly difficult.“

One of the local projects supported by People’s Health Trust is the North Ayrshire community transport service. It provides a vital service, supporting over 300 older people across the county to get out and about - to go shopping, attend GP or hospital appointments or simply to meet up with friends and family.

 

 

 

 

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