Monday, 11 June 2018

Britain's lonely old men have scant consolation to learn their fathers and grandfathers were there before them

This year the Government announced the appointment of Tracey Crouch as  'Loneliness Minister.' She pledged to take on the “generational challenge” of loneliness, which studies had claimed was as harmful to health as smoking based on the suggestion that 9 million people suffer from loneliness. Against that backdrop old men and women in Britain, find that they are not part of a loneliness epidemic after all and on, the contrary, their predecessors were miserable before them..

Dr Aparna Shankar, from St George’s, University of London told the Cheltenham Science Festival that : “We are hearing now about this massive epidemic of loneliness.” She went on to say that the number of people suffering with loneliness in Britain, and not exclusively old people, has remained about the same since the 1930s. She said : “Across a lot of surveys the majority, well over half, say they very rarely or never feel lonely. And you find that about 7 to 10 per cent say they feel lonely. There doesn’t seem to be this massive increase.”

Apparently, a survey from 1947, the year in which a record number of baby boomers were born, noted : 'A distressing feature of old age is loneliness. All who have done welfare work among the old have found it the most common, if at the same time the most imponderable, of the ills from which the aged suffer, and its frequency was amply confirmed by our study.'

She made the point that there is a misconception about loneliness, which could be applied to old men : that it is about not having enough friends. Instead, she said, it was a mismatch between the kind of relationships they want and the kind of relationships they have, rather than the absence of relationships.

Either way, 'The Times,' bastion of the status quo, chose to headline its article about the Festival with :
I beg to differ : 

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Britain is no country for hundreds of thousands chronically lonely old men for whom Christmas is "just another day"

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