A YouGov survey commissioned by Stonewall questioned 1,050 heterosexual and 1,036 LGB people over the age of 55 and found that older gay and bisexual men are three times more likely than heterosexual men to be living alone.There are many factors as to why this is, including the lack of children within gay relationships and alienation or estrangement from birth families. LGB older people are more likely to be living alone and studies have found that loneliness in old age is linked to depression and poor health. Earlier this year, a group of charities including Independent Age and Age UK Oxfordshire said loneliness was linked to problems with the immune and cardio-vascular systems and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, said: “This pioneering research confirms what we already knew intuitively. We’re facing a care time bomb of institutional ignorance about what a community that makes a £40bn a year contribution to public services will soon – quite properly – be demanding.”