Loneliness and older adults

May 5, 2022 | Loneliness, News |

lonely adult

1.4 million older people in the UK are often lonely. Loneliness is a significant problem that is now widely acknowledged today. [age uk]

Loneliness and social isolation are growing public health concerns, particularly within older adults. Whilst these experiences occur across the life span, 50% of people aged 60 and over are at risk of social isolation, and one-third will experience loneliness later in life.  

Loneliness noun;   

Loneliness is a subjective negative feeling associated with a perceived lack of a wider social network (social loneliness) or the absence of a specific desired companion (emotional loneliness). 

Cornwall Housing turn to Genie robot

Social Loneliness: Loneliness is a subjective negative feeling associated with a perceived lack of a broader social network

Emotional Loneliness: Absence of a specific desired companion.

People describe thoughts and feelings of loneliness with words like:

Health at risk

Loneliness can seriously impact older people’s health and wellbeing and is associated with worse physical and mental health in older people. One study suggests loneliness can increase the risk of early death by 30%.

Loneliness and social isolation are risk factors for morbidity and mortality with effects equivalent to:

Lack of exercise
High blood pressure

Respecting older adults dignity   

In 2018, Age UK reported that 36% (4.2 million) of people age 65+ are offline, lapsed, or never used the internet.

Keeping older adults home for longer reduces care demand, family worries and, importantly, respects their dignity. The Centre for Ageing Better and Good Things Foundation discovered that digital exclusion is closely linked to social exclusion and inequality. Loneliness is most likely to be digitally excluded and vice versa.

There are three elements to digital exclusion: 

  • lack of kit 
  • lack of skills and confidence in going online 
  • a lack of connectivity and data  

Meet the digital companion, GenieConnect®

Combating loneliness since 2018

GenieConnect® enables the delivery of more flexible and better-quality care to combat loneliness and isolation, enabling independent living and reducing demand on our health and social care providers.

Cornwall Housing turn to Genie robot

I think Genie is well placed to resolve social isolation and loneliness in elderly and vulnerable people across the County. Many people live alone and can go for days at a time without seeing or speaking to anyone, and this can be for many reasons – e.g. distance, financial circumstances, mobility and physical disabilities and lots more.

Nyree Laugharne

Independent Living Service Manager, Cornwall Housing

Genie breaks down these barriers with a simple, easy-to-use system that can bring people together even in the most complicated and difficult circumstances.   

By using assistive technology such as GenieConnect®, we are most excited about enabling all types of people to use the features of Genie and technology regardless of the stigma attached to this generation not wanting to use these methods.

Nyree Laugharne

Independent Living Service Manager, Cornwall Housing

CEO of Service Robotics Ltd

“Finding proven methods of delivering some care remotely is game-changing for the care industry. By doing this we are reaching more adults with a new service model, allowing companionship and meaningful care while some tasks are automated”

GenieConnect® assists older adults at the greatest risk of loneliness with remote care services using a digital companion robot. Its supports social interactions with virtual video calling via the companion application, and connects to family members, carers, healthcare services and other Genie users.  

Get insights to how assistive technology is paving the way for older adults’ improve companionship

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Why it matters now?

GenieConnect® is a solution whose time has come, in a rapidly growing Technology Enabled Care market, with commercial traction proving the value of our business.

UK digital healthcare market valued at an estimated £2.9bn.