Half a million elderly people live in a state of “social death” in France, which means that their encounters with others are non-existent or extremely rare, a number that has increased by 77% in four years.
In an index published Thursday in its second edition, entitled “Loneliness and isolation for those over the age of sixty in France in 2021”, the “Brothers of the Young People” association indicated that the Covid-19 crisis and the health restrictions that accompanied it, “threw people who had a fragile social fabric into isolation.” strong.”
The indicator showed that the number of elderly people isolated from family and friends has more than doubled +122% in four years, from 900,000 in 2017 to 2 million in 2021.
In addition, 1.3 million elderly people never or on very rare occasions see their children and grandchildren, compared to 470,000 according to the previous index issued in 2017.
The association takes into account four social ties to measure the degree of isolation of the elderly: family, friends, neighbors, and associations, and the index concluded that 530,000 elderly people in France have no ties to any of these four circles.
“Between 2017 and 2021, our social death index has almost doubled,” said Yan Lanier, general delegate of the Young Brothers of the Poor.
In its study, the results of which were published on the occasion of the International Day of Elderly Persons on October 1, the association pointed out that connections with friends and association networks were most affected by successive isolation measures.
The index showed that 3.9 million elderly people, nearly a fifth of the total number of elderly people, had no or very few friendships, compared to 1.5 million in 2017.
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Relations with neighbors were the least affected in this area, as the decline was limited to 2% compared to 2017, as was the case with relations with merchants or professionals in the neighborhood, which the association said constituted a “bulwark against isolation.”