The lonely plight of Ireland’s older generation revealed
Published 07/09/2011 | 08:31
Loneliness is the biggest individual problem faced by older people living alone.
A report launched today by the Society of St Vincent de Paul in Dublin reveals that the issue is particularly acute in rural areas where public services, like the post office or the bus, have been reduced or ended.
The study "Older people - experiences and issues" reports on the experiences and issues of older people in Ireland also covers their attitudes to growing old, the younger generation, family links, income support, crime, housing, religion and employment.
SVP National President, Mairéad Bushnell, said the charity was working to combat loneliness by its system of personal visitation, and the provision of services such as day centres, social housing and holidays.
Older people especially disliked robotic telephone answering systems used by public and private companies which, they felt, reduced personal contact, the report found..
To keep in touch, many older people use mobile phones, mainly for calls and a smaller proportion for texting, but few respondents used personal computers or the internet.