Loneliness is a key challenge for contemporary times and while it can be experienced by people of any age, it can impact older people particularly. The number of people over the age of 65 who live in the UK continues to increase and 3.6m older people live alone. Age UK found that for many older people their main source of activity is watching television.
While many older people look forward to retirement and have the resources and social connections to enjoy their leisure time, there are others who face loss of social support, changes to living arrangements, and a decline in physical and emotional well-being. Loneliness can be as a result of retirement (voluntary or forced), becoming unwell or the death of close friends or a spouse.
Older men are more at risk of loneliness. The impact of feeling isolated or lonely has been compared to obesity and increases the risk of a decline in cognitive abilities and reported anxiety and depression.
Meeting friends and making things