WRVS chief executive David McCullough has stressed that many elderly men are going through unnecessary suffering because of a “stiff upper lip” approach to their problems.
The results of the research revealed that a staggering 36 per cent of men described themselves as being either lonely or very lonely – often going for some time without interacting with anyone on a face to face level. Among women, this rate was slightly lower at 31 per cent.
Half of the men surveyed also admitted to having had feelings of depression, though three quarters had never sought any form of help for this.
We know from previous research that loneliness can be extremely debilitating not just to our mental health, but also to our physical health – which is why it is important that we take proactive steps to prevent this from happening.
If you are elderly and feel isolated or lonely, this is nothing to be ashamed of, and just opening up and making your friends and family aware of the problem can be a huge relief.
There are a number of organisations such as WRVS who run befriending schemes or who have volunteers who can provide some human contact – whether it be a cup of tea or a pint in the local pub. Visit Age UK for further information.
If you are feeling isolated and are experiencing symptoms of depression you may also benefit from the help and advice of a counsellor of psychotherapist.
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