Sunday, 25 December 2011

Britain is no country for 100,000 lonely old men on their own today, Christmas Day 2011

My posting on December 16th about a large number of old men on their own at Christmas was based on figures from 'Friends of the Elderly' is confirmed by a poll for 'The Centre for Social Justice'. This also found that 250,000 old people are on their own today and working on the basis that old women outnumber old men my conservative guesstimate for the men is 100,000.

So, if we take a hypothetical old man called 'Joe' and ask why he is alone this Christmas we find that :

* like 2 out of 5 men, Joe is separated from his wife who remarried and his children have to divide their time between him and their mother and possibly her husband's family, so they might be stretched 3 ways at Christmas.

* Joe's ‘silver separation’ from his wife in 2009, constituted 2 of the 11,500
over-60s were granted a divorce in that year.

* doesn't get much consolation from the Centre's Executive Director, Gavin Poole,who said: "Today’s findings are heart-wrenching. We know about the tragic impact of family breakdown on the youngest members of our society but now we’re seeing the consequences for older people. For so many to spend Christmas Day alone while their family celebrates elsewhere is a modern tragedy."

* along with half of those polled cited the television as his main form of company.

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