Suffering of the old and lonely puts us all to shame

On 7 January the following article appeared in the Daily Mail:

Suffering of the old and lonely puts us all to shame

Anyone who heard 95-year old Bob Lowe talking about loneliness on Radio 4’s Today programme this week must surely have had a tear in their eye.

The World War 2 veteran spoke of his constant battle with solitude since losing his wife, Kath, six years ago and of his dread of spending time alone with just his memories.

“Take New Years Eve” he said. “I sat there alone. It was miserable and, I’ll be quite honest with you, I started crying. Behind the word lonely is despair and grief.”

The tragedy is that there are countless individuals like Bob all over Britain. Half-a-million people over 60 routinely go an entire week without seeing anyone, according to Age UK.

More than a million older people in England alone are classed as chronically lonely.

Bob admits he is one of the lucky ones, still in good health and able to get around. But that does not cushion him from the agony of being own hour after hour, day after day.

The article continues:

… elderly people suffering from chronic loneliness are more likely to develop health conditions such as heart problems, depression and dementia.

The article continues:

How can we call ourselves civilised when we, fit and able, turn a blind eye to the elderly? Surely it is incumbent of everyone of us to do something for them in their hour of need.

At Catholic Care we believe it’s important for older people to be able to maintain their independence in their own homes with dignity and sense of fulfilment. They often need a little extra support, however, and that’s why we’ve developed a range of community groups to promote practical, social, physical and spiritual well-being. Please click here to find out more.