Commenting on today’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures on families and households, Janet Morrison, Chief Executive of Independent Age, the older people’s charity, said:

“Today’s figures bring into focus the importance of the challenges and changes our society faces as our ageing society grows. In the past ten years there has been a 22% increase in the numbers of people aged 65 to 74 who live on their own. This sharp growth means we have to radically rethink how prepared we are to meet the future care and support needs of our ageing population. It raises questions about the role of the individual, family and State in planning for their care in later life. Meanwhile the figures show there are 3.5 million people aged 65 and over who live alone in the UK. While some welcome living alone, for many others the future could mean decades more of living by themselves, with the risk of a growing sense of loneliness and isolation.”

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