Relationships & Lifestyles

Widowhood is the norm for older women.  50% of women aged 65 or over are widowed; this rises to 80% of those aged 85 and over.  This picture is different for men as 75% of men aged 65-69 are married, and 60% of men are still married by their early 80s.
(Social Trends No 34, 2004 edition )

In 2001-2, 79% of people aged 65 and over living in households in Great Britain saw a relative or friend at least once a week.  2% did not see any friends or relatives at all.

Contact with neighbours tends to decrease with age.  At age 65-69 years, 81% of people said they chatted to neighbours at least once a week.  At age 85 and over this decreases to 71%. For some people, there is no contact with neighbours at all.  14% of people aged 65 and over have no contact at all with neighbours.

Older women are more likely to live alone than older men.  At 85 years and over, 71% of women in private households live alone, compared with 42% of men of the same age.

People aged 65 and overspend more time than those aged 60-64 watching TV, reading, listening to the radio or music or resting.  from 2000-1 people aged 65 or more spent an average of 3 hours 45 minutes per day watching TV (or DVD/Video), 45 minutes more than 50-64-year-olds.

(All from Focus on Older People, National Statistics, 2004