The study “Loneliness among people 80 plus” shows that only 6 percent. of respondents declaring loneliness use senior clubs, and 13 percent. never leaves the house.
According to a study by the ociation of Little Brothers of the Poor “Loneliness among people 80 plus” 60 percent. people in this age group are widows and widowers, of whom 58 percent are live alone, and 26 percent feels lonely.
Relations with close family are important or very important to the respondents – this is what 94% of respondents declare. of them. 41 percent claims that they never feel lonely – these are mostly people who are married or live with someone. Those who rarely feel lonely are also people who live alone, but have friends and acquaintances they can count on. 26 percent of respondents admitted that they often feel lonely
The study showed that lonely people are often much less likely to spend time with their family living together (15%) or with friends (47%). They have limited opportunities to obtain help from their loved ones, a much smaller group of people they can rely on, and they leave home less often. Less than half declare that they leave the house every day – mainly to run errands, but there are more people who never leave the apartment (13%) – mainly due to poor health.
Single people are much more likely to face crisis situations such as health problems (92%), loss of loved ones (72%), isolation (62%) or the feeling of being unnecessary (41%).
The study shows that lonely people, less often than people experiencing this feeling to a small extent, take steps to change their well-being. The most popular form of coping with loneliness is pive rest (watching TV, listening to the radio, or reading) – this was declared by more than three quarters of people who happen to feel loneliness to any degree. Contacts with other people (36%) or leaving home (35%) were indicated by single people much less often as preventive measures.
These people are much less likely to have a positive attitude towards the world, and significantly more of them are pessimists (13%) who perceive the world as a hostile place (8%). They also attach much less importance to being satisfied with life (58%). At the same time, they are much less likely to recognize that taking care of themselves is an important part of life (65%). They often suffer from a lack of interpersonal bonds. They are more likely to feel empty (39%) and perceive themselves as useless (78%).
8 percent of respondents are unable to leave the apartment, and 7 percent. they are afraid that something will happen to them when they leave the house.
The Ministry of Family and Social Policy, asked to comment on the results of these studies, indicated that the answer to the problem of loneliness of the elderly is, among others, the Senior Plus program, which consists in expanding the network of support centers for the elderly and co-financing the existing centers in their current activities.
By the end of 2022, local governments established a total of 1,179 senior plus support centres, including 87 centers in 2022. In 2023, 739 offers were recommended for co-financing, and the total amount of co-financing was PLN 59,034,233. As a result of the additional allocation of funds, in module II of the program co-financing was granted to 44 offers.
It was emphasized that senior plus facilities give the elderly the opportunity to spend time actively – 8 hours a day – offering a variety of activities: from istance in everyday activities, through providing at least one meal and nurturing intergenerational bonds through meetings with school students, to physical activities and active participation in cultural life. Regular meetings with participants of the cles diversify the everyday life of seniors and provide them, above all, with fully safe and diverse forms of activity, tailored to the interests, needs and capabilities of the elderly.
In the opinion of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, a useful tool that can somehow remedy the feeling of loneliness of the elderly will be neighborhood services, i.e. a form of care services included in the draft act amending the act on social istance and some other acts. The resort argues that the introduction of neighborhood services will contribute to the development of social services, mainly for the elderly, who require, for example, help with shopping, cleaning the apartment, and do not yet require istance in the form of care services provided by babysitters.
For the purposes of the “Loneliness among people 80 plus” study, 405 telephone interviews were conducted from January 24 to March 6, 2023 with people over 80 living in cities.
By Delfina Al Shehabi