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Television is main form of company for elderly, say charity

  • Over half of all older people considering the TV as their main form of company.
  • Over 3.5 million (35%) people aged 65+ are concerned about staying warm at home.
  • Over 2 million (21%) state they are worried about not being able to get out and about as much.
  • 4.5 million (43%) people aged 65+ are concerned about falling over on slippery pavements.

Pensioners facing a winter of misery

This winter as many as 25,000 older people could die needlessly because of the cold. Age UK have found that is about 200 preventable deaths a day.

As many as 25,000 older people could die because of the cold Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire

During the winter, isolation can intensify having an adverse effect on physical and mental well-being and some studies prove that feelings of loneliness can this can be equivalent to well-established risk factors such as obesity and smoking.

The colder weather brings with it a massive increase in associated health problems for older people including heart attacks and strokes, respiratory problems, pneumonia and depression.

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Over 700,000 older people 'are lonely'

Over 700,000 of people aged 65 or over in the UK say they are always or often lonely, Age UK have said.

Over 700,000 older people are suffering from loneliness, the charity have said Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire

There are now more people in the UK aged 60 and above than there are under 18.

17% of older people have less than weekly contact with family, friends or neighbours.

36% of people aged 65 and over in the UK feel out of touch with the pace of modern life and 9% say they feel cut off from society/

About 3.8 million older people live alone. 1.5 million are women.

3.5m elderly people 'are not getting any enough support'

3.5 million people aged 65+ in the UK are not getting any help, support or companionship from neighbours, according to new research from Age UK.

3.5m elderly people need support, the charity have said Credit: ITV News

Over 700,000 admit they don't know their neighbours and claim the top reason is they don't want to be a burden or feel their neighbours are too busy.

Older people are more vulnerable to serious health problems during colder weather particularly heart attacks and strokes, respiratory problems, pneumonia and depression.

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Report: Loneliness and the internet

  • Older people aren't necessarily lonely for geographical reasons, the charity have said.
  • On average we're all just 126 steps or 65 metres - from someone aged 65 or over who is feeling lonely, the report added.
  • Similarly, young people are facing huge challenges which can lead to isolation in today's tough climate such as high unemployment and negative perceptions of youth.
  • The Internet is a vital tool in tackling isolation and loneliness, the charity found.
  • Over a quarter (28%) of people aged 65 or over who admitted to feeling lonely said that keeping in contact with family and friends via the web helped relieve feelings of isolation.
  • 70% of young people aged 16-25 said they use the Internet every day to contact friends and family.

Charities want computer courses for over 65s

Two charities have joined forces to tackle loneliness and isolation across generations.

Computer courses will encourage two generations to work together Credit: Adam Peck/PA Wire

Age UK and YouthNet are calling on runners to take part in next year's London Marathon to raise money for computer classes for the elderly.

700 young volunteers will be given the opportunity to develop their confidence and learn new skills by sharing their digital experience with 10,000 older people in their local communities.

For more information visit www.runforit.org.uk or call 0800 169 87 87 or email info@runforit.org.uk.

Report: 26% of Scots aged 75 feel lonely

A charity in Scotland has called for action to address the "extreme loneliness" suffered by thousands of elderly people.

26% of Scots aged 75 feel lonely, a report has found Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire

A survey for the WRVS found 26% of Scots aged 75 who lived alone described themselves as being lonely.

A total of 5% of older people living on their own said they could go for days at a time without speaking to another person.

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