Farm Ireland

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Loneliness and safety the biggest fears for ageing adults - fear of isolation greatest in towns

Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

The latest research from Macra na Feirme and Calor, as part of its ‘Know your Neighbour’ Campaign, reveals that over a quarter of people fear loneliness as they grow old.

For just over quarter of people, loneliness is the biggest fear about growing old in their community but a fear of isolation is far greater in urban areas than rural communities, while safety and security fears are greater in urban areas than rural.

Other findings showed that a lack of broadband and the lack of opportunity to progress are key concerns in rural communities, as well as emigration of younger community members and the welfare and safety of elderly community members.

The research which was conducted by Calor and Macra Na Feirme marks the launch of their ‘Know Your Neighbour’ winter campaign.

The ‘Know Your Neighbour’ campaign encourages people, all over the country, to reach out to their neighbours. This is particularly important during the winter months when almost two thirds (63%) of people feel it is more important to have a stronger sense of community during dark winter evenings.

Broadcaster and ‘Know Your Neighbour’ ambassador Sile Seoige is asking people to be aware that those who live alone can feel isolated.

“This is just as much the case in urban as rural areas. Through the ‘Know Your Neighbour’ winter campaign, I’m joining Calor and Macra na Feirme, in calling on members of the public to visit their more vulnerable neighbours. Even a small gesture like calling in to have a cup of tea could make a real difference.”

As for favourite past times, going to the pub is listed as the most popular past time for more than a quarter of adults followed by shopping and local sports clubs.

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Commenting on the research at the launch of the ‘Know Your Neighbour’ winter campaign, Macra Na Feirme National President, Sean Finan said “as the evenings grow darker we are less likely to bump into neighbours out and about, and it’s important that we take this into account and make an extra effort with our more vulnerable neighbours.

“The research demonstrates that whether living in an urban or rural communities we share the same worries and concerns and whether in a city surrounded by people or in a more rural location, people can feel isolated and vulnerable. We are calling on all members of the community to join Macra members in getting to know their neighbours this winter.”

Online Editors