1.3 million older people spend two months a year alone

Published: 06/07/2016

Today Bluebird Care is launching Every Visit Counts, a campaign that highlights and helps to reduce loneliness in the UK. 

Loneliness is an issue which can affect us all, but it disproportionately affects older people. Bluebird Care is in a unique position to help reduce loneliness; our care assistants can sometimes be the only human contact our customers have a day. That is why we are today launching Every Visit Counts, a campaign that highlights and helps to reduce loneliness in the UK.

To mark the launch, we have carried out a nationwide poll of 1,000 over 65-year-olds, carried out by OnePoll.

When extrapolated in relation to the UK’s older population, the shocking results reveal that some 1.3 million older people spend the equivalent of two months a year alone.
They also find:

  • Two million older people (18%) have spent a week without seeing any one
  • Some four million older people (36%) speak to less than one person a day (5 people a week or less)
  • Some 4.5 million older people (39%) feel lonely either often or sometimes
  • Some 3.4 million older people (30%) would not admit to someone they trust that they are lonely
  • While 5.4 million (47%) 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.

The results were even more shocking for women, who on average live for longer.

Women, who make up 70% of the people over the age of 65, 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%).

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

Bluebird Care COO said:

These shocking statistics show just how much needs to be done to tackle the crippling yet silent problem of loneliness in Britain.

Changes in our society mean many of us, especially older people, are spending more and more time alone. But spending time alone does not automatically translate into loneliness. When people have strong relationships with others who respect, care for and are interested in them, visits can have an effect that lasts long after the meeting is over. Carers and care assistants have a role to play. That is why we are proud to get behind Every Visit Counts.”

Over the coming months the campaign will bring expert advice as well as individual experiences of both care assistants and those who have suffered loneliness.
To find out more visit: www.everyvisit.co.uk