While loneliness is experienced by all ages, it’s especially pronounced in older people. In the UK, 51 percent of all people aged 75 and over live alone and approximately 6 percent of older adults leave their house once a week or less. An increasing proportion of these older adults live in rural areas.
In an age when services and information are increasingly available online, might technology play a role in addressing loneliness and social isolation?
Our research was conducted in South Lakeland – a rural community of Cumbria in Northern England. Residents aged 65 years and older account for 24.2 percent of the population here, against a national average of 17 percent. While there are two towns, the majority of the population live in villages, hamlets and isolated dwellings.