Number of lonely old men increasing in Denmark – The Post

Number of lonely old men increasing in Denmark

Municipalities launching initiatives to improve the quality of their lives

Many single men over the age of 65 spend their days sitting home alone (photo: iStock)
September 13th, 2016 3:57 pm| by Lucie Rychla

The number of single men over the age of 65 has increased by more than 40,000 since 1990 to 140,000 today, according to new figures from the interest group Local Government Denmark.

In the Capital Region alone, nearly every third man over the age of 65 lives alone and is therefore more prone to injuries and other health problems than the ones living with a partner, researchers have found.

The average life expectancy for Danish men has increased by 6.4 years over the past 25 years, but hardly at all for women, which is one of the explanations for the growth.

READ MORE: More elderly Danes getting alcohol treatment

Help from municipalities
The trend has been noted by municipalities, including Frederikshavn Municipality, which have initiated a number of initiatives focused on improving the quality of life of the elderly, who often suffer from loneliness.

“They are often immobile and don’t get the physical exercise that is good – both for the body and mental health,” Anette Weesgaard, an activity leader at Frederikshavn Municipality, told Berlingske.

“They just sit and slowly deteriorate, and their everyday life becomes gloomy.”