Care at home provider Bluebird Care Swindon is backing a national campaign to combat loneliness among elderly people, following a poll which revealed how widespread loneliness is.
The Swindon company is supporting the national Bluebird Care campaign, called Every Visit Counts. As part the campaign, Bluebird Care carried out a nationwide poll of 1,000 over 65-year-olds, which revealed that some 1.3 million older people spend the equivalent of two months a year alone.
In the South West region, which covers Swindon, 19% of older people are spending more than a week at a time without seeing anyone.
The survey also found some four million older people speak to less than one person a day and 4.5 million older people feel lonely either often or sometimes.
Older women are more likely to have spent longer periods alone than older men. 21% of female respondents said they have gone a week or more without speaking to another person compared to 14% of men.
Bluebird Care Swindon managing director Ben Curtis said: “These shocking statistics show just how much needs to be done to tackle the crippling yet silent problem of loneliness in Swindon and across the UK.
“Changes in our society mean many of us, especially older people, are spending more and more time alone. But spending time alone does not automatically translate into loneliness. When people have strong relationships with others who respect, care for and are interested in them, visits can have an effect that lasts long after the meeting is over. Carers and care assistants have a role to play. That is why we are proud to get behind Every Visit Counts.”