Latest study suggests more men are set to outlive their wives & face a lonely old age
With the number of older men living alone in England predicted to rise by 65% in the next 16 years, researchers are predicting increasing numbers will face a lonely and isolated existence.
A study published by the International Longevity Centre (ILC-UK) and the charity, Independent Age, paints a very bleak picture of their later years. The report: The Emerging Crisis for Older Men, finds older women are more likely to outlive their husbands but, by 2030, growing numbers of men will outlive their wives. In fact, they predict that, by 2030, 1.5 million older men will be living alone in comparison to just 911,000 men today.
So why is this happening? The research suggests that older men have less contact with friends and family than women, meaning they’re left socially isolated when their spouse dies. 73 year old Widower John says, “Women keep the family together and people rally around them. When women die, people drift away from the man left behind.” This is then exaccerbated by the finding that men are much less likely to ask for help and seek support in comparison to women.
What can we do? We know loneliness and isolation is linked to poor physical and mental health. In fact, 1 in 5 older people are affected by depression, increasing to 2 in 5 for those living in care homes. It’s, therefore, crucial that we target services for older men more effectively. Many men said they want more ‘blokey’ services that reflect their interests and passions as they’re much more likely to want to use their skills or hobbies so they feel they have a real sense of purpose.Testament to this is the successful pilot project launched by AgeUK’s ‘Mens in Sheds’. This was designed to support older men who wanted to get together and learn new skills, all within the welcoming the space of a shed. Activities included woodworking, inter-generational skills sharing as well as socialising. To find out more about the ‘Mens in Sheds’ scheme, click here.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][mk_highlight text=”“Innovative clubs and social programmes are needed to keep men socially connected after retirement as well as offering support at certain later-life events, such as widowhood“ Baroness Greengross” font_family=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][mk_padding_divider size=”40″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]It’s therefore vital that we successfully target these men and ensure services, clubs and support centres cater to their unique needs. This is a growing problem that, sadly, will not go away. If you need help or support, you can always contact the Silver Helpline.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]