More men experiencing isolation in old age – BBC report

Men are often reluctant to join clubs for older people, says the study by the International Longevity Centre (ILC-UK) and the charity, Independent Age.

It predicts the number of older men living alone in England will increase by 65% by 2030.

“When their partner dies, often a man’s social life shrinks,” said Independent Age chief executive Janet Morrison.

The report: The Emerging Crisis for Older Men, says older women will still be more likely to outlive their husbands but, by 2030, growing numbers of men will outlive their wives.

The analysis of recent data from the English Longitudinal Study on Ageing suggests 1.5 million older men will be living alone by 2030 – up from 911,000 today.

‘No visitors’

Older men often also have less contact with family and friends than women of a similar age, meaning they are often more socially isolated once their spouse dies, says the study.

“The house was always full of kids,” 73-year-old John, whose wife died five years ago, told researchers.

“Women keep the family together and people rally around them”.

“When women die, people drift away from the man left behind.”

Evidence suggests men and women experience social isolation in different ways, says the report, with men less likely to ask for support.

Read the rest of the report here