Survey shows in South East 14% of older people are spending more than a week alone

Published: 22/05/2019

Around 14 per cent of older people in the South East spend the equivalent of more than a week without seeing anyone according to a poll, says Bluebird Care Slough, S.Bucks and S.Wycombe.

Around 14 per cent of older people in the South East spend the equivalent of more than a week without seeing anyone according to a poll, says Bluebird Care Slough, S.Bucks and S.Wycombe.

A OnePoll survey of 1,000 over 65-year-olds, found 11% spent five days or more a month without seeing anyone. The poll was commissioned by homecare company Bluebird Care to mark the start of the Every Visit Counts campaign, launched July 6, to tackle loneliness. The aim of the campaign is to highlight the high rate of loneliness among older people in the UK. The campaign brings expert tips and highlights ways that everyone can help to spot and beat loneliness in society.
The poll also found that in the South East:
  • 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.
Ian Inglis, owner of Burnham-based Bluebird Care, which provides care in people’s own homes, said:
 
These statistics really are very disturbing, but there is much more that we can do collectively to tackle the epidemic of loneliness that effects our local community. It’s vital for older people to feel a part of the communities they live in as they can become isolated as they get older.

Our care professionals provide emotional support and cultivate social relationships in the community and we are delighted to be actively participating in the ‘Every Visit Counts’ campaign to combat loneliness.”
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. 

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.