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Lonely older people most miss having someone to sit with, report says

Up to a million elderly people in the UK are chronically lonely, according to the Campaign to End Loneliness. Credit: PA Wire

Lonely older people most miss having somebody to sit with, while almost half miss enjoying a hug, research shows.

A poll of more than 1,000 over-65s for the Campaign to End Loneliness found people (52%) most missed sitting with somebody and just being together.

This was followed by:

  • Having somebody to laugh with (51%)
  • Hugging (46%)
  • Eating together (35%)
  • Sharing a bed (31%)
  • Holding hands (30%)

The survey found lonely people also missed a wide range of other social activities, such as going on holiday, country walks, going to the pub and entertaining guests.

Laura Alcock-Ferguson, director of the Campaign to End Loneliness, said: "Meaningful social connections are essential for human happiness.

"At a national level, we're calling for the development of a UK-wide strategy for tackling loneliness and social isolation to help end this growing crisis."

She added: "Health and well-being boards also have a big role to play, and it is vital that every board in the country put in place a clear action plan with measurable targets for reducing loneliness in their local population."

The group says that up to one million older people in the UK suffer from chronic loneliness.