1.3 million older people spend two months a year alone

Published: 26/07/2023

Older people's time alone

July 2023

 1.3 million older people spend two months a year alone

In the UK, 16% of older people are spending more than a week alone

Some 1.3 million older people spend the equivalent of two months a year without seeing anyone, according to a poll.

A OnePoll survey of 1,000 over 65-year-olds, found 11% said they spent five days or more a month without seeing anyone. Across the country, 16% of respondents said they had spent more than a week alone.

The poll also found:

  • Nearly a fifth (17%) spend nearly a month (24 days) a year without seeing anyone.
  • Four in 10 (40%) feel lonely either often or sometimes.
  • A third (31%) would not admit to someone they trust that they are lonely.
  • Four in 10 (42%) say they do not have access to support when they are feeling lonely.

There are 11.4 million people in Britain aged 65-years-old or more, according to Age UK, which means 1.3 million older people are spending more than two months a year alone.

Women, who live longer on average, make up 70% of the people over the age of 65.[1]  Older women are twice as likely to spend at least two months a year alone: 1.1 million older women (14%) spend two months a year alone compared to 200,000 older men (7%).

The survey also found two million older people (18%) have spent more than a week without seeing anyone.

Again, older women are more likely to have spent longer periods alone than older men with 21% of female respondents saying they have gone a week or longer without speaking to another person compared to 14% of men.

Bluebird Care, a specialist home and live-in care provider, has been working with the elderly in the local community for many years to help tackle loneliness.

Dean Morley, Operations Manager at Bluebird Care Harrow, said:

“Just because people get to a certain age it doesn’t mean they want to go out less, or be confined to their homes. Loneliness amongst the elderly has become a huge concern over the past twenty years, which is why we’re running our Every Visit Counts campaign.

Our Bluebird Care staff go out of their way to ensure the elderly people we work with are given opportunities to go out, socialise with friends and family, and take part in recreational activities.

Over the next year we’ll be looking at what further links we can build with community organisations and charities to give elderly residents even more opportunities to socialise and spend time with others.”

The aim of the campaign is to highlight the high rate of loneliness amongst older people in the UK.

The campaign brings expert tips and highlights ways that everyone can help to spot and beat loneliness in society.

Bluebird Care is a national provider of care in the home, specialising in working with customers who live with dementia, physical disabilities and many other acute and chronic conditions. Bluebird Care work alongside their customers’ families, social services and the NHS to ensure each person receives the care they need.

Bluebird Care offers a unique service of tailored care visits which range from anything from 30 minutes to full live-in support. As well as personal care they also help with meal preparation, welfare checks, shopping, social trips, visits to the hospital and provide extra support for post-discharge customers.

For more details contact Bluebird Care by calling 0208 861 2574, emailing harrow@bluebirdcare.co.uk, or by visiting their website https://www.bluebirdcare.co.uk/harrow/contact-us