Last week a study from the Office for National Statistics said that young adults are more likely to feel lonely than older age groups. Researchers suggest that older people might become more “resilient” to worries about loneliness, as younger people, 16-24, were more than three times higher than people aged 65 and over to “always or often” lonely.
I, as a former carer for my Dad thought really? As an ageing society, public and voluntary sector organisations delivering social care struggling to meet demand, more and more carers who are also older themselves. Actually, what I found when I dug a bit deeper was an acknowledgement that there is probably a reluctance amongst some men to admitting loneliness, so if they don’t admit it how do we support them, and what are the reasons for this loneliness? Interestingly the least likely to be lonely are likely to be older, male, living with a partner, working, homeowners, well-connected with their local area and in good health. So, what happens when an older male retires, maybe through health, their partner dies or they divorce or just doesn’t have a partner, and maybe have to sell up and move? Have you ever met a male who puts their ‘hand up’ and says I’m lonely? My Dad didn’t, my Uncle doesn’t but my Auntie, who is in her 80s and is the main carer for my Uncle, does feel lonely, especially when her husband died.
Maybe a solution is young males taking older males out for the day, to the Seaside, have a fun day and significantly reduce that loneliness.