For the young living alone may be a sign of empowerment, but for the elderly it can be a sign of their diminishing value to society.
Almost 22,000 people over the age of 65 died prematurely because of the cold last winter. Think about whether you can lend a helping hand.
More than a third of older people are suffering from loneliness, two leading charities have said.
Michelle Mitchell, charity director general of Age UK, said the growing crisis in social care is undermining an older person's recovery.
Waiting in hospital needlessly not only wastes NHS resources but it can also undermine an older person's recovery and be profoundly upsetting for them and their families as a result.
"We are very worried that the growing crisis in social care is having a significant impact on the length of time that older people are having to stay in hospital waiting for social care support to be put in place.
– Michelle Mitchell, charity director general of Age UK
We need the Care Support Bill to be twinned with both an emergency injection of funds to shore up the current system and a long-term commitment to finding sufficient resources to make sure that every older person gets the care they need, when they need it."
Government Minister Norman Lamb has labelled the current state of elderly care as "dysfunctional" as he announced changes to health and social care.
The care and support minister said: "It's a dysfunctional system and as people get older, that system is getting worse."
The MP for North Norfolk detailed plans to integrate health and social care by 2018.
Speaking at an event organised by the King's Fund think tank, Mr Lamb said co-ordination between health and social care will help lessen the number of people stuck in hospital beds and benefit elderly people.
"At the moment disproportionately a large chunk of the NHS budget goes on old people and long-term illness. We can no longer afford to throw money at problems."
"This is a new challenge - people with chronic conditions living for more years. If we don't adjust things for their needs, the system will collapse.
A £72,000 cap on elderly care costs was promised in the Queen's Speech.
Care cost reforms were left out of a draft Bill published by the coalition last year, sparking fears the plans would be kicked into the long grass, but earlier this year the Government announced it would introduce a £75,000 limit on bills in England.
A month later in the Budget, plans were announced to accelerate the introduction of the cap, bringing it in at a level of £72,000 in 2016 - a year earlier than originally intended.
The limit is more than double the £35,000 recommended by the independent Dilnot Commission in 2011 but the Government said today it would "give everyone peace of mind by protecting them from catastrophic costs".
Under the Care Bill, the threshold for financial assistance will be extended. It is expected to go up from £23,250 to £123,000.
People are concerned about the quality of care their elderly relatives receive, according to new research.
An analysis of a survey completed by 2,000 people has found that almost a quarter of participants (23%) rated homecare agencies as having sub-standard care, with care homes close behind at 15%.
The biggest concern for more than 84% of people choosing a care home was cost and quality of care or specialist care.
In contrast, the quality of care children receive was rated highly, despite being expensive, with 90% of those who wrote on the site about childcare leaving positive reviews.
But childcare providers were rated low for value for money and 8% of childcare reviews were negative specifically about the value of money.
Nearly three-quarters of people are concerned about the care their elderly relatives receive, with many thinking it is substandard, new research has shown.
A study of reviews left on feedback website the Good Care Guide showed that many people viewed elderly care as needing improvement, with nearly three quarters (71%) of negative reviews on the site directed towards care provided by homecare agencies and care homes.
The Good Care Guide, launched a year ago, works like TripAdvisor, allowing people the chance to find, rate and review care providers.
An analysis of more than 2,000 reviews - which grouped those with 0-3 stars as negative, and those with 4-5 as positive - revealed concerns for the care elderly people receive, with 71% of negative reviews directed towards homecare agencies and care homes.
More than a third of older people are suffering from loneliness, living with neighbours they barely know only feet away, two leading charities have said.
It is estimated that over three million older people are lonely in the UK and it’s predicted that figure could easily double as the population ages and welfare cuts start to bite.
Older people aren't necessarily lonely for geographical reasons, two leading charities 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.
- A third of over-75s who live alone typically spend 12 hours a day by themselves.
- Overall, one in ten in that age group say that they feel intensely lonely all the time.
- Some 246,000 will spend Christmas Day alone.
- Two in five marriages fail has serious repercussions for the elderly.
- Family breakdown has led to more and more young people becoming estranged from their ageing relatives.
- So-called ‘silver separations’ are also becoming more common.
- More than 11,500 over-60s were granted a divorce in 2009.
- Pensioners are the only group for whom the divorce rate is still rising.
Almost a quarter of a million older people will spend Christmas Day alone this year as Britain struggles to cope with the consequences of an ageing population, according to new research.
Bereavement, poor health, loss of confidence and family members living away from one another all contribute to the problem of isolation among older people, reports the Times.