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 www.statistics.gov.uk)