Press Release - survey shows in London 16% of older people are spending more than a week alone

Published: 22/05/2019

Around 1.3 million older people spend the equivalent of two months a year without seeing anyone according to a poll, says Bluebird Care Westminster.


Press Release
 
Survey shows in London 16% of older people are spending more than a week alone
Nationally 1.3 million older people spend two months a year alone
 
Around 1.3 million older people spend the equivalent of two months a year without seeing anyone according to a poll, says Bluebird Care Westminster.
 
A OnePoll survey of 1,000 over 65-year-olds, found 11% spent five days or more a month without seeing anyone. In London, 16% of respondents said they had spent more than a week alone.
 
The poll also found that in London:
 
  • Over 1-in-5 (21%) spend nearly a month (24 days) a year without seeing anyone.
  • Four-in-10 (39%) feel lonely either often or sometimes.
  • Nearly a third (29%) would not admit to someone they trust that they are lonely.
  • And nearly half (48%) say they do not have access to support when they are feeling lonely.
 
Director of Pimlico-based Bluebird Care, Peter Slough, says loneliness is a real issue in the capital. He says the company, which provides cares in people’s own homes, is doing all that it can to encourage more community involvement.
 
“Loneliness among older people is a real and growing issue in London, as well as nationally,“ he said. “We know that our professional care assistants help to support vulnerable people and play a crucial role in helping them to live independent lives at home. I would encourage everyone to support older neighbours, family and friends – sometimes just a chat is all that is needed to stop someone feeling lonely.
 
“Across the cities of London and Westminster, to help alleviate the problem, we provide carers at no charge to two local groups so that family carers can take a break. It’s easy for carers and those that they care for to become isolated. We have also organised a community ‘Bake-off’ event on July 20 for those with dementia and their carers and we also plan on running free training for unpaid family carers later this year. If organisations and individuals all do their bit, it can make all the difference.”
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.
 
The poll was commissioned by homecare company Bluebird Care to mark the start of the Every Visit Counts campaign, launched today (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.
 
Please call 0207 976 6163 or email westminster@bluebirdcare.co.uk to book a space at the ‘Bake-off’.
Ends
Note to editors:
·         OnePoll surveyed 1,000 British adults aged 65 or over, online, between June 13 and June 23, 2016. 146 responses were from London.
·         There are 11.4 million people over the age of 65, 8 million of which are women, according to Age UK.
·         For more information on Every Visit Counts visit: www.everyvisit.co.uk
 
·         Peter set up the Pimlico-based homecare business in 2013 after witnessing fluctuating care standards given to his late grandmother. He also has personal experience of dementia after his step-grandmother lived with it.
·         Bluebird Care’s team of 50 care assistants deliver home and community care to adults with a wide variety of needs throughout both the City of Westminster and the City of London including: Baker Street, Barbican, Bayswater, Belgravia, Covent Garden, Charing Cross, Fitzrovia, Hyde Park, Knightsbridge, Lancaster Gate, Lisson Grove, Little Venice, Maida Hill, Maida Vale, Mayfair, Marylebone, Millbank, Paddington, Piccadilly, Pimlico, Queen’s Park, Regent’s Park, St James’s, St John’s Wood, Soho, Temple, Victoria, Westbourne, the West End and West Kilburn.
 
Media enquiries: For more information please contact Cathy Kelly at ckellypr@gmail.com or on 07704 130226.
 
[1] http://www.ageuk.org.uk/Documents/EN-GB/Factsheets/Later_Life_UK_factsheet.pdf?dtrk=true