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Isolation plagues elderly

1st November 2005

Isolation is a major problem among older people in society, Help the Aged has claimed.

In response to a survey from financial services firm Economic Lifestyle, David Sinclair, policy manager at Help the Aged said as Christmas approaches it is important for family members to help combat isolation among older people.

"Feeling cut off and alone can be a frightening and distressing reality for too many older people today, when just a simple call, chat or visit could make all the difference," he explained.

The Economic Lifestyle survey revealed that 1.6 million older people see their children less than once a month, while around 500,000 pensioners live at least 300 miles from relatives.

Mr Sinclair said the figures supported the findings of the Help the Aged Helping Unite Generations (Hug) survey conducted in April this year.

Hug showed 1.28 million pensioners regularly feel lonely while nearly two million older people do not feel valued as an older member of society.

"These shocking figures demonstrate that far too many older people feel cut off and alone while relatives lead busier lives which often do not include trips to see older family members," Mr Sinclair added.