This month, as part of our Spotlight On Loneliness campaign, we will be focussing on loneliness and old age. For many people, the elderly are the first group that come to mind when the topics of loneliness and isolation are raised. This is partly down to campaigns such as John Lewis’ 2015 Christmas advert The Man On The Moon, which have helped to raise awareness of the loneliness that many people feel in old age.
According to the Age UK 1 million elderly people are chronically lonely, and half a million spend every day alone. Older people are more likely to be widowed, and 51% of over 75s live by themselves. Some have no families to speak of; others’ children and grandchildren live far away or simply have little time to spend with elderly relatives. Illness, disability or mobility issues make it difficult for some to leave their homes unassisted, and as friends become ill or pass away there are fewer people to visit. And unfortunately the problems don’t stop there: loneliness can increase the risk of depression, physical health problems and even dementia in older people.
At WaveLength, we work with some great organisations caring for elderly people experiencing these issues, as well as those with complex needs such as homelessness, dementia and limited mobility. These issues bring their own challenges, and can contribute to feelings of loneliness and isolation for those affected. Throughout February we will be showcasing some of those organisations to tell you more about the work that they do, and the ways in which they are using our technology to alleviate loneliness among their beneficiaries. Keep an eye on our blog and social media pages to find out more.