October 23, 2020


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Twice as many elderly people have felt lonely since the corona crisis

Twice as many elderly people have felt lonely since the corona crisis

Photo: ANP

The Dutch have felt more lonely since the corona crisis began. Older people above the age of 75 in particular felt more often alone. This is reported by the Office for Social and Cultural Planning (SCP) in a report on the well-being of the Dutch during the Corona period.

Dutch people aged 25 and over feel emotionally lonely. By this, the researchers mean that people lacked a close or close bond with someone else. Last July, 29 percent felt that way, up from 21 percent the previous year. The biggest increase was among those over 75, from 16 percent in 2019 to almost 37 percent this year.

During the corona crisis, people often stayed in touch via (video) calls or social media. The statisticians suspect that the lack of personal contact made them more lonely. “It is precisely this physical contact that plays an important role in forming and maintaining close bonds between people and in relieving stress,” they write.

“It was a quiet, boring time,” said a 71-year-old woman who participated in the study. “No visitors, no clubs. Despite the calls, I felt alone. “

Although loneliness increases and more and more people are worried about their jobs, the Dutch are generally still happy with their lives. The researchers don’t expect this to continue. They believe that dissatisfaction will increase as more and more people are financially affected by the crisis. The report’s authors also say that “people can be resilient in the face of adversity, but when adversity continues and problems pile up, the track will go away.”