You are here

Elderly Britons lonely this Christmas

28th December 2006

New figures indicate that a large proportion of the UK's elderly population have spent a lonely Christmas and will be on their own this New Year's Eve.

Research from Help the Aged has revealed that three quarters of a million older people in Britain regularly feel isolated and lonely, while one million are spending the Christmas period on their own.

Of Britain's nine million elderly population, a worrying half claim that the television is their main form of company.

The charity is keen to lower these depressing statistics and suggests a string of improvements that could rectify the situation.

Help the Aged claims in its policy statement that "higher incomes, safer streets, better health, improved local service provision [and] better low level services" would help prevent isolation among the elderly.

Improved transport and mobility, promotion of active ageing and the end of ageism were also put forward as possible beneficial measures.

According to the study, more than a quarter of elderly people never leave the house and almost half a million older people never see their friends.