over50feeling40: Chronic Loneliness of the Elderly
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Oct 26, 2013

Chronic Loneliness of the Elderly

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How to solve problems of chronic loneliness in the elderly

Recently, the Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt highlighted the fact that 800,000 older members of society suffer from problems of loneliness.

Look to other cultures for solutions

One way of combating the problem, the Minister has suggested, is to look at other cultures and see how they respect and honour the older members of their society. The UK is experiencing a boom in the numbers of its aging population and too many of them are left on their own in their homes with just a TV for company.

Asian communities have a wonderful reputation for integrating all members of their society and Mr Hunt suggested that this example could be rolled out across the whole of the UK.

Care home hospitality

Many older people suffer from ill health and it’s important that they are cared for in an environment that is kind and also stimulating. Caring Homes are just one example of how to provide an innovative way of looking after older members of society.

Celebrations are frequent and the young and spirited staff provide vital inter-generational contact. Experts urge the involvement of local communities with care homes in order to invigorate both the very young and the very old.

Most care home residents have led exciting and interesting lives and their life stories often enthral younger visitors.

Staying safely at home

Ageing is an unfortunate yet inevitable part of life and it’s important for the whole community to appreciate this fact. There are a number of associations that provide day trips and other activities for those in their later years and this can be a great source of contact and comfort.

If you have an elderly neighbour, why not visit them and see if there is anything you can do to help? Isolation is a serious problem and can lead to depression. If you feel that your neighbour would like to meet others, then a quick phone call to the local Age UK charity will give you a list of activities, lifts and other necessities.

Join a choir and meet others

The Nostalgics, a choir made up of the pensioners, recently hit the headlines when they attended the X Factor auditions and were praised by the whole judges’ panel. In fact, community pensioner choirs are a growing phenomenon across the UK and this might be just one way to combat loneliness in the elderly.


  1. I have this problem in my own life. Family lives halfway across country. And so does my best friend. Neighbors keep to themselves. And since I don't work other than blogging. My online friends are significant.

  2. It is definitely an increasing problem in the UK. I am sure it must be similar in the US. I think it will be difficult to change the culture. Young people today are very pressurised and often sandwiched between caring for young children and looking after elderly parents plus families do not always live near each other any more and work and financial pressures mean it is difficult for them to spend time with elderly relatives. I am not sure there is an easy answer to this problem.

  3. I worry about this so much with my dad. He is such a people person. While caring for my mom after er stroke, he wouldn't leave her. Her inability to speak isolated them from so many. Since she died in March, he has been trying to find things to do and someone to do them with. We try to get him to come to us - 30 miles away - but he likes it where he is. We visit once or twice a week. I don't have any good solutions.


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