1.3 Million Older People Spend Two Months a Year Alone

Published: 06/07/2016

We launch our 'Every Visit Counts' campaign after revealing shocking new statistics about the extent of loneliness among older people in Trafford.  

A OnePoll survey of 1,000 over 65-year-olds has revealed shocking statistics about the prevalence of loneliness in the North West.

The survey reports 11% of participants said they spend five days or more a month without seeing anyone. In the North West, 19% of respondents said they had spent more than a week alone.

The poll also found that in the North West:
  • Nearly a fifth (16%) spend nearly a month (24 days) a year without seeing anyone.
  • Almost half (47%) feel lonely either often or sometimes.
  • A third (29%) would not admit to someone they trust that they are lonely.
  • And nearly half (46%) 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 than men, 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.

The poll was commissioned by Bluebird Care to mark the start of the Every Visit Counts campaign, launched today (July 6), to tackle loneliness.

Ian Helsby, owner of Bluebird Care Trafford, said: "These are heartbreaking statistics but not altogether surprising to us. It's appalling to realise how long some of our older residents spend alone and how it affects their well-being. We hope our Every Visit Counts campaign helps people realise the extent of the problem and identify it more quickly. We want to encourage people in Trafford to help improve the quality of people's lives." 
Visit www.everyvisit.co.uk to view a compelling video on the reality of loneliness as well as expert tips and advice on how we can all help beat loneliness in society.