75,000 over-65s in Wales describe themselves as ‘always or often lonely’ and two in five (46%) say that their TV or pet is their main form of company.
That’s according to new figures issued today by Age Cymru.
We are calling for donations to help fight loneliness through our vital national and local services.
Loneliness is a huge issue that affects people all year round with nearly a third (29%) of older people in Wales saying they would like to go out more often.
The research also reveals that one in seven people (14%) aged 65 plus are feeling cut off from society.
Loneliness can be seriously damaging and recent studies have shown it has double the impact of obesity and that feeling extreme loneliness can increase an older person's chances of premature death by 14%.
Commenting on the figures, Richard Nicholls, Age Cymru’s Director of Income Resources says:
“At Age Cymru we know how devastating loneliness can be for older people and these figures are another reminder of the scale of this issue.
“Loneliness not only makes life miserable for older people it is also really bad for their health making them more vulnerable to illness and disease.
“It is time to take loneliness seriously and that’s why we’re asking everyone to take action by donating today to help us carry on supporting older people to make the most out of later life.
“Voluntary sector services like Age Cymru’s have never been more important because funding cuts are forcing many of the local services that help older people stay connected, such as lunch clubs, to scale down or close.”
Age Cymru and its local partners are helping to tackle loneliness by supporting a range of services such as befriending which might include home visits and telephone calls for people who are feeling lonely or isolated.
This offers company, reassurance and a vital link to the outside world, often acting as a gateway for other services and valuable support.
Age Cymru advice services can link older people with partners services such as lunch clubs and day centre activities including exercise classes, coffee mornings, as well as volunteering opportunities which play a crucial part in preventing loneliness and helping make later life better.
Regular contact from Age Cymru and our local partners can be life-changing and give older people the confidence they need to feel more connected and less isolated.
To help the Age Cymru network in Wales to end loneliness people can donate today by calling 02920 431 555 or visiting
Older people and their families can get in touch with Age Cymru to see how the charity could help someone who may be feeling lonely by calling Age Cymru’s advice line for free on 08000 223 444.