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2.5 million older people have no support network

08 November 2018 08:30

The UK has a rapidly ageing population

The UK has a rapidly ageing population

Millions of UK pensioners feel they don't have anyone they can turn to for help, a leading charity has warned.

Following its latest survey Age UK estimates that around 2.65 million people aged 65 and over face their problems alone.

According to the poll, almost a quarter (23%) of over 65s answered the question 'Do you ever feel like you have no-one to go to for help or support?' with 'always, often, or sometimes.'

The charity released the findings to mark its new campaign to encourage people to support their services for older people, such as its Age UK Advice Line.

Actress Dame Judi Dench, who's backing the campaign, called the figures "heart-breaking".

Isolated and depressed

Among those who feel they have no-one to turn to, almost a quarter (24%) say this leaves them feeling lonely; 22% said they feel isolated and one in five say it makes them depressed.

Age UK helped 210,000 callers last year deal with issues including bereavement, loneliness, getting social care support and managing health problems like dementia.

Dame Judi said: "We all know that ageing is inevitable, but it's heart-breaking to think of older people who feel they have no-one they can turn to.

"Age UK is working hard to change this, and by supporting their 'No-one should have no-one to turn to' campaign you can help them to be there for older people who might have no-one else."

'Rapidly ageing population'

Age UK's charity director Caroline Abrahams added: "We have a rapidly ageing population and it is heart-breaking to think that more than two and a half million older people feel they have no-one to go to for help - that's more than the entire population of Birmingham.

"The fact is that getting older can be really tough, and however resilient you are it's important to know someone will always be there for you, come what may.

"That's what we aim to be for older people at Age UK and we know it makes a huge difference, especially for those with literally no-one else they feel they can ask for help."

The study surveyed more than 1,000 UK adults aged 50 and over, with the charity using population estimates to calculate nationwide figures.

- To support the campaign visit: or to contact the charity's Advice Line, which is open every day of the year from 8am to 7pm, call 0800 055 6112

If you're aged over 65 and are looking for travel insurance that meets your needs, check out our dedicated travel insurance for over 65s and get peace of mind before you set off.