Jo Cox MP
The brilliant children’s story writer Judith Kerr, now in her 90’s, has commented that the problem with being widowed is ‘not that there’s nobody to do things with, it’s that there’s nobody to do nothing with. You have to make some plan for the day otherwise there’s this shapeless emptiness.’ Her words, as usual, are precise and cut straight to the heart of the issue (as well as appealing straight to the heart) and also apply to loneliness more broadly.
Having ‘nobody to do nothing with’ affects more of us than we ever knew. So many of us are lonely in fact that it doesn’t feel an exaggeration to call it a crisis. Age UK research has found that half a million people over the age of 60 usually spend every day alone, with nearly half a million more often going at least five or six days a week without seeing or speaking to anyone at all. Continue reading
Posted in Communities and inclusion, General, Health and Wellbeing, Loneliness
Tagged #endloneliness, #happytochat, #loneliness, Age UK, Age UK blog, Ageing, ageing society, Jo Cox Commission, Jo Cox Loneliness, loneliness Age UK, no one should have no one, No one should have no one Age UK, older people
This post originally appeared on the International Longevity Centre’s blog as part of a series of blogs on the Future of Ageing, published in the lead up to the ILC-UK Future of Ageing conference on 24 November.
Zoe Heller wrote vividly about the terror of loneliness, describing what it is to “wake up and gaze out of the window at another bloody daybreak, and think, I cannot do this anymore. I cannot pull myself together again and spend the next fifteen hours of wakefulness fending off the fact of my own misery…the drip drip of long-haul, no-end-in-sight solitude… [other people] don’t know what it is to construct an entire weekend around a visit to the laundrette.”
Heller’s novel ‘Notes on a Scandal’ came back to me last week when Age UK launched our campaign on loneliness, ‘No One Should have no one’ which highlights the unbearable truth that a million people haven’t spoken to a friend, neighbour or family member for over a month and that for over 4 million older people the television is their main form of company. Continue reading
Posted in no one should have no one
Tagged #ManOnTheMoon, Age UK, Age UK blog, Ageing, ageing population, ageing society, Future of Ageing, ILC-UK, International Longevity C, International Longevity Centre – UK, loneliness, lonely, no one should have no one, older people