‘50% of older adults fear something will happen to them and no-one will notice,’ new research suggests

Half of over 55’s who experience loneliness fear something will happen to them and no-one will notice, while a third feel alone and have no-one to talk to, according to new research by the British Red Cross.

In a poll of over 4,000 UK adults, the British Red Cross found that 37% of over 55’s feel always, often or sometimes lonely.

The research findings suggest a lack of meaningful social connections could be contributing to people’s feelings of loneliness and isolation as:

  • Nearly 29% of over 55’s say their neighbours are like strangers to them.
  • Nearly 29% of over 55’s who do have people they feel close to or can rely on say those people live far away from them
  • Nearly 19% of over 55’s say they often feel alone, like they have no-one to turn to.
  • Almost 18% don’t have friends they feel close to or can talk to

The charity is calling on the public to show their kindness this winter by helping them continue to support those most in need, so they don’t feel alone.

Zoë Abrams, executive director of communications and advocacy at British Red Cross, said: “Loneliness and social isolation doesn’t discriminate. Life circumstances can change in the blink of an eye, meaning it can happen to anyone, no matter your age or background.

“We all need someone to turn to in a crisis, but the findings of our research suggest that there are many people in our communities feeling they lack meaningful, human connections. This will be concerning for us all to hear, no matter where we live in the UK, or with whom.”

The British Red Cross chairs with the Loneliness Action Group in partnership with the Co-op – a coalition of charities, business, public sector leaders and government who are working together to tackle loneliness in our communities.

“Every one of us would want someone to reach out to us if we found ourselves all alone. People who need our help may be closer than we think and could feel much more connected if we offer them our kindness.

“The British Red Cross is there every day, helping people connect with their communities. A donation this winter could help ensure we continue this vital work supporting those most vulnerable.”

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