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Lonely older people 'at risk from early death'

Extreme loneliness can increase an older person's chance of dying prematurely, Age UK said as it warned that more than a million people aged 65 and over admit to usually feeling lonely.

Loneliness not only makes life miserable for older people, it is also really bad for their health making them more vulnerable to illness and disease.

It is time to take loneliness seriously and that's why we're asking everyone to take action by donating today to help us carry on supporting older people to make the most out of later life.

Voluntary sector services like Age UK's have never been more important because funding cuts are forcing many of the local services that help older people stay connected, such as lunch clubs, to scale down or close.

– Age UK's charity director Caroline Abrahams.

The charity is calling on people to send a donation by calling 0800 169 8787 or texting HELLO to 70004 to donate £3 or visiting www.ageuk.org.uk/get-involved/loneliness

TV 'main form of company' for many pensioners

Two in five pensioners consider television to be their main form of company, Age UK said, as it warned that for the first time, more than a million people aged 65 and over admit to feeling lonely "always or often."

Two in five pensioners consider their television set to be their main form of company, a charity has warned.
Two in five pensioners consider their television set to be their main form of company, a charity has warned. Credit: PA

The charity described loneliness as a "huge issue" in Britain.

It's poll of 2,000 British adults of 65 and over found that 37% said their TV is their main form of company.

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'Significant health benefits' for active pensioners

Elderly people who become active will reap "significant health benefits" by averting major ill health and degenerative diseases like dementia, new research has found.

Boxing pensioner
Pensioners who exercise once a week are more likely to "age healthily" according the BMJ. Credit: Reuters

According to a wide ranging study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, pensioners who took part in moderate or vigorous physical activity once a week were three times more likely to be healthy agers.

The study, which looked at OAPs over an eight year period, said older regular exercisers were three times more likely to be healthy. Researchers said the benefits were clear for those who became active later in life:

"Sustained physical activity was prospectively associated with improved healthy ageing - absence of disease, freedom from disability, high cognitive and physical functioning, good mental health."

Pensioners see biggest rise in incomes

The incomes of UK pensioners have continued to rise since the recession - while young adults have been hardest hit.

Pensioners
Pensioners' incomes are rising faster than any other age group. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies says that the median income of the over 60s went up around 2%-3% between 2007/08 and 2011/12, allowing for inflation.

In the last 30 years pensioners' incomes have risen faster than those of any other age group.

Among people in their 20s income fell 12% in the same period - the largest fall of any age group.

Read: Warning as young adults suffer most from recession

Tech-savvy pensioners boost online charity donations

Technology-savvy pensioners have led a huge rise in online donations to good causes, new research suggests.

Web donations to religious groups have soared by 128% over the past five years, while online giving to culture and arts institutions has trebled, a study by the website Justgiving found.

A poll of more than 2,000 adults found over-60s were the most generous age group, donating three times as much online to religious organisations compared with five years ago.

Older people also made five times more donations via the internet to culture and arts groups over the same period.

Churches have now been urged to adapt to modern methods of giving charity to ensure they do not miss out on generous donations.

Record numbers of pensioners still working

The number of older people continuing to work into their retirement has almost doubled over the past two decades, according to the Office of National Statistics.

  • In 1993, 753,000 or 7.6% of pensioners were still working
  • In 2011, 1.4 million or 12% of pensioners were still working

Older workers are more likely to be self-employed, and work part-time.

  • 32% are self-employed
  • 66% work part-time

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1.4 million people working past the age of retirement

More than 1.4 million people are working past the age of retirement, according to the Office for National Statistics. Credit: Reuters

The number of workers over pensionable age continuing to work has more than doubled over the past two decades, according to new figures released by the Office for National Statistics.

In 1993 753,000 people continued to work beyond their pension, in 2011 this figure had increased to 1.4 million.

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