Loneliness preventing UK being top for later life

Older people say they are often or always lonely

Older people say they are often or always lonely

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Millions of older people are “often or always lonely”, according to a new international study.

The Global Age Watch Index for 2015 has revealed which countries are the best to live in for older people, with Switzerland, Norway and Sweden topping the table.

And although the UK ranked 10th out of 96 countries, it came 27th on the measure of health and well-being, partly as a result of its loneliness levels.

The report states: “The figure for mental well-being of people aged 50 plus, compared to that of people in middle age, is relatively low.

“It is a matter of concern that around one in 10 people over the age of 65 say they are often or always lonely, as this has been shown to have severe implications for physical health as well as well-being.”

The Global Age Watch Index 2015 ranks 96 countries according to the social and economic wellbeing of older people.

The Index represents 91 per cent of people aged 60 and over, some 901 million people, measuring the wellbeing of older people in four key areas: income security, health, personal capability and an enabling environment.

It also concluded that inequality among older people was increasing.

The life expectancy gap at age 60 between countries at the top and bottom of the Index has widened from 5.7 years in 1990 to 7.3 years in 2012.