13% of British people feel lonely ‘all the time’, new research has revealed.
‘The Missing Million: In Search of the Loneliest in our Communities’ is the latest piece of research from The Campaign to End Loneliness, a network of organisations campaigning to make loneliness a national health priority.
The report also reveals 84% of British people said they have felt lonely and almost two-thirds of people (64%) know someone who is lonely.
Older people are disproportionately affected by loneliness as 10% of people over the age of 65 say they feel chronically lonely. Additionally, the taboo nature of admitting to loneliness is also compounding the problem.
92% of people surveyed think that people are scared to admit that they are lonely, for fear they will be judged negatively.
Mary Rance, CEO of Contact the Elderly, said: ‘‘The problem of widespread loneliness is a growing concern, particularly for older people.
‘‘At Contact the Elderly, we are acutely aware of the problem. We currently support over 5,000 older people who suffer from loneliness and social isolation. We know by speaking to our service users regularly that these two issues can lead to, and exacerbate, mental and physical health problems.
‘‘We are also aware that feeling lonely is very difficult to admit. We encourage anyone who may be feeling lonely, or anybody who knows someone who may be lonely but reluctant to admit it, to get in touch with us so we can extend our lifeline of friendship to them.’’
Contact the Elderly has a simple but effective solution to combating loneliness. Our free, monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties which take place across England, Scotland and Wales mean our older guests have something to look forward to, have the chance to make friends and start to feel part of the community again.
Florence, 89, said: ‘It was such a lovely afternoon. Everyone was so kind and I got on really well with Chris, the young gentleman who drove me. It was wonderful to meet other people and I look forward to the next tea already!
If you know an older person who may benefit from our service, there are many ways you can help them. For example, you can:
Read the full report from The Campaign to End Loneliness here.