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Lonely older people most miss sitting with someone and laughs, survey shows

The Campaign to End Loneliness is calling for a UK-wide strategy for tackling loneliness and social isolation.
Lonely Christmas

Lonely older people most miss having someone to sit with, a new poll has revealed.

In a survey of more than 1,000 over-65s for the Campaign to End Loneliness, 52% said they most missed sitting with somebody and just being together, followed by 51% missing someone to laugh with.

A total of 46% missed hugging, 35% eating together and 31% sharing a bed.

Social isolation

The activities that lonely people missed the most included going on holiday and socialising outside the home.

The Campaign to End Loneliness was launched in 2011 by five partner organisations, including charity Independent Age, and is calling for a UK-wide strategy for tackling loneliness and social isolation.

The campaign says one million older people in the UK are

Lonely older people most miss having someone to sit with, a new poll has revealed.


The Campaign to End Loneliess says one million older people are affected by chronic solitude 
Picture: iStock

In a survey of more than 1,000 over-65s for the Campaign to End Loneliness, 52% said they most missed sitting with somebody and ‘just being together’, followed by 51% missing someone to laugh with.

A total of 46% missed hugging, 35% eating together and 31% sharing a bed.

Social isolation

The activities that lonely people missed the most included going on holiday and socialising outside the home.

The Campaign to End Loneliness was launched in 2011 by five partner organisations, including charity Independent Age, and is calling for a UK-wide strategy for tackling loneliness and social isolation.

The campaign says one million older people in the UK are affected by chronic loneliness.

Campaign director, Laura Alcock-Ferguson, said: ‘Meaningful social connections are essential for human happiness.

‘Health and well-being boards also have a big role to play. It is vital that every board in the country put in place a clear action plan with measurable targets for reducing loneliness in their local population.’

Prone to depression

Research published in Perspectives on Psychological Science journal last year showed that loneliness increases the likelihood of mortality by 26%.

An analysis by Age UK earlier this year shows that lonely individuals are also more prone to depression, cognitive decline, and dementia.

Janet Morrison, Independent Age chief executive and founding member of the Campaign to End Loneliness, said: ‘Over two million people aged 75 and over live alone in Great Britain.

‘We know that living alone can contribute to feelings of loneliness, particularly when people have to spend special occasions, such as Christmas, alone.’


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