More men suffer loneliness

13/10/14 . Blog

Older men's health threatened by loneliness

With an older population more men are struggling with loneliness.

It has long been thought of as blighlting elderly women, and even now one in five male deaths are before the age of 65, but more men are also hit by loneliness and the mental and physical health problems that often follow.

As well as the aging population, there are other reasons behind this. As the BBC reports:

Men are often reluctant to join clubs for older people, says the study by the International Longevity Centre (ILC-UK) and the charity, Independent Age.

It predicts the number of older men living alone in England will increase by 65% by 2030.

The Guardian adds:

According to the report, which calls for government action to prevent the worsening of a largely hidden crisis, the problem is worse for men than women. More older men experience high levels of social isolation and almost a quarter of men over 50 have less than monthly contact with their children compared to just one in seven women. Nearly one in five older men admitted to having less than monthly contact with friends compared to one in eight for women.

For more from the Men's Health Forum:

 

The Men’s Health Forum need your support

It’s tough for men to ask for help but if you don’t ask when you need it, things generally only get worse. So we’re asking.

In the UK, one man in five dies before the age of 65. If we had health policies and services that better reflected the needs of the whole population, it might not be like that. But it is. Policies and services and indeed men have been like this for a long time and they don’t change overnight just because we want them to.

It’s true that the UK’s men don’t have it bad compared to some other groups. We’re not asking you to ‘feel sorry’ for men or put them first. We’re talking here about something more complicated, something that falls outside the traditional charity fund-raising model of ‘doing something for those less fortunate than ourselves’. That model raises money but it seldom changes much. We’re talking about changing the way we look at the world. There is nothing inevitable about premature male death. Services accessible to all, a population better informed. These would benefit everyone - rich and poor, young and old, male and female - and that’s what we’re campaigning for.

We’re not asking you to look at images of pity, we’re just asking you to look around at the society you live in, at the men you know and at the families with sons, fathers and grandads missing.

Here’s our fund-raising page - please chip in if you can.