The Impact of Loneliness

“Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty” – Mother Teresa


It is estimated that overall about 10% of the general population aged over 65 in the UK is lonely all or most of the time. This equates to over 900,000 older people. In England, five million older people say the television is their main form of company.

More than 400,000 people currently live in care homes.

Studies estimates that depression affects 40% of older people in care homes.

Social isolation can lead to loneliness and those living in residential care are at a higher risk of experiencing loneliness.

“We take relationships for granted as humans – we are like fish that don’t notice the water. That constant interaction is not only beneficial psychologically but directly to our physical health.” – Timothy Smith, Brigham Young University


So how does loneliness affect a person’s health?


Mental Health

Depression affects 2 out of every 5 people living in care homes

Physical Health



Mother Teresa once said that loneliness is the leprosy of the modern world.

There are many residents in Bedford’s care homes who are socially isolated receiving few or no visitors.  Are you able to help make a difference?

For more information on the types of volunteering opportunities available with us please see our Volunteering section.


The information shown on this page draws from the following publication:

Loneliness – the state we’re in, 2012, Age UK Oxfordshire & the Campaign to End Loneliness


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