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.
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.
More than a third of older people are suffering from loneliness, two leading charities have said.Read the full story ›
Charity Director-General for Age UK, Michelle Mitchell, has told Daybreak that there are massive benefits of younger and older people getting together and sharing experience and skills.
- 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.
Two charities have joined forces to tackle loneliness and isolation across generations.
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.
A charity in Scotland has called for action to address the "extreme loneliness" suffered by thousands of elderly people.
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.
- It is estimated that over a million older people are lonely (Age UK) and it’s predicted that figure could easily double as the population ages and welfare cuts start to bite.
- There are now ten million of us over the age of 65, and by the time we reach 75 more than half of us will be living alone.
- Half of all people aged 75 and over a third aged 65 (Age UK) or over say they are always or often feel lonely.
- 1.7 million people aged 65 (Age UK) or over have less than weekly contact with family, friends and neighbours.
Over a third (34%) of people aged 65 or over in Great Britain feel lonely, according to new research out today from Age UK and pioneering online young peoples charity YouthNet.
The research also shows that older people aren't necessarily lonely for geographical reasons.