How is the pandemic affecting the lives of older people? A survey makes it clear that loneliness is a big issue. One group of seniors in particular is affected.
Berlin – According to a survey in the corona pandemic, old people are more likely to struggle with loneliness.
The proportion of people aged 80 and over who described themselves as lonely was 12.1 percent in the survey period from November 2020 to April 2021. And thus twice as high as in surveys in 2017 and 2018, as the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) announced on Friday.
According to the information provided, more than 10,000 randomly selected people aged 80 and over took part in the survey as part of the “Old Age in Germany” study. The survey was carried out by the Cologne Center for Ethics, Rights, Economics, and Social Sciences of Health (ceres) and the German Center for Gerontology (DZA).
Restrictions during survey
During the survey period, strict measures were in place in Germany to contain the corona virus, and public life was severely shut down. It is therefore unclear whether the study would have come to a different conclusion if less drastic measures had been taken during a different survey period during the pandemic.
The survey also comes to the conclusion that loneliness increases later in life. Accordingly, 22.1 percent of seniors over the age of 90 describe themselves as lonely, but only 8.7 percent of those aged 80 to 84. In addition, significantly more women (15 percent) are affected by loneliness in old age than men (7.4 percent). According to the experts, the reason for this is that older women are less likely to be in partnerships.
According to the survey, seniors who live in homes feel lonely particularly often. Here the proportion is 35.2 percent, whereas among seniors in private households only 9.5 percent stated that they felt lonely. dpa