3.6m older people say that television is their main form of companyby Jill Mortimer / January 20, 2017 / Leave a comment
New evidence shows that half a million people over the age of 60 usually spend every day alone, with nearly half a million more usually going at least five or six days a week without seeing or speaking to anyone at all. This, coupled with the fact that around 1.2m older people are deemed “chronically lonely” and have been feeling this way for years, points to something of a social crisis.
But what does loneliness really mean, and can we ever fully get to grips with a problem that is so personal?
Loneliness is about the lack of meaningful relationships in your life. It’s painful; it undermines your sense of self-worth. Contrary to popular belief, it often has nothing to do with being alone. Many people enjoy solitude, happy with their own company doing things that they enjoy. And you can be lonely in a crowd, feeling unrecognised and unacknowledged. Most of us have felt lonely at different points in our lives. There are all sorts of triggers—teenage heartbreak, the sleep deprivation that arrives with a new baby, the pain when a loved one dies.