People over 75 don’t feel lonely: Study

May 29th, 2011 - 1:45 pm ICT by IANS  

London, May 29 (IANS) As people grow older, they become less lonely and more happy with their local society. A whopping majority of 75-year-olds in Britain say they have never felt lonely, according to a new government research.

Challenging the stereotype that old age was a time of “isolation” and “unhappiness”, the survey by the Department for Work and Pensions showed that feelings of social isolation were more common among the young.

The average Briton believes old age starts at around 59, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Based on a survey of 1,867 adults, the study looked at expectations and experiences of older life in Britain.

Seventy-two percent of people over 75 years said they never felt lonely, compared to 51 percent of the 16 to 34 year-olds.

Ten percent of people aged between 65 and 74 said they sometimes or often felt lonely, while for those aged 50 to 59, the figure was 21 percent.

The researchers said the “peak age” for feeling isolated was between 50 and 59.

It was often related to children leaving home and early retirement.

Seventy-two percent of people aged 75 also thought their neighbourhood was a “good place to grow old”.

Only 58 percent of those in their 50s gave such a positive answer.

Older people were also more optimistic about their own life expectancy than the young.

Men over 65 said they would live to be 87, and women in the same group said 88.

For those aged 16 to 34, average age estimates were 79 for men and 80 for women.

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