Being alone is not the same as feeling lonely. Chosen solitude can be enriching but Tax is a huge problem in today’s societies. There’s a reason it’s been called the epidemic of the 21st century. Increasing life expectancy, changing family patterns, reorganizing the use of time, and even transforming housing patterns mean social isolation is narrowing the fence. projections National Institute of Statistics (INE) They talk about one-person households growing the most over the next 15 years, now representing three points less, reaching 28.9%.
By 2037, one in three households will host someone alone. This is no small number: 6.5 million people will not find anyone to talk to for a long time. According to a study by the European Commission, people in poor health, unemployed and low-income are more likely to be threatened by loneliness. not for nothing one in ten people feel lonely half the timeThis in turn leads to deterioration of their mental and physical health in the long run, which can further undermine social cohesion.
The period when this feeling of loneliness becomes more severe is in old age. This problem affects women more than men. “Women tend to have lower incomes and lower pensions than men, and therefore worse living conditions,” write Sacramento Pinazo and Mónica Donio Bellegarde in their study ‘Loneliness of the elderly’.
According to the European Commission’s research, 11.6% of Spaniards felt lonely, but this feeling increased with the pandemic, especially between June and April 2020, when 18.8% lived. This is a international problem not limited to a single country. This desperation before the Spaniards also spread to the Greeks (20.8%), Romanians (16.9%), Belgians (16.3%), Hungarians (14.3%) or French (14.2%).
The unrest of the Spaniards has something to do with it. destruction of family tiesA trend contributed by the shrinking households, a reflection of the rise in divorces and the dwindling number of children. yes ok the two-person household remains hegemonic, The single-person population already represents 26.1%, but the population is barely increasing by 10.4%. In this context, the communities with the highest percentage of single households are Asturias (31.0%), Castilla y León (30.2%) and La Rioja (28.9%), while the lowest percentages in this section are the autonomous cities of Melilla. (18.9%) and Ceuta (20.9%) and Murcia (21.6%).
Not only the elderly, but also those who are divorced or widowed feel lonely. Immigrants also feel the pain of isolation, in addition to the fact that their leisure time is reduced due to less economic opportunities, sometimes encountering health problems without an accompanying person. It should be noted that the migration process itself already implies the existence of many obstacles to establishing new relationships and connections in the host country.
In the light of data from INE, Men under 65 are the largest, representing 33% of single person households. This is followed by women over the age of 65 who make up 31% of the households, men under the age of 65 with 23% and men over the age of 65 with 13%. As the years go by, you reach that age where you live primarily with memories and kill more time than living in the moment.
this World Health Organization (WHO) unwanted loneliness public health problem Because of its effects on human health, as it can cause loss of movement, cardiovascular diseases and even premature death, with the emergence of diseases such as depression, which not only has an effect on the mind, but also has consequences on the physical plane.
Other countries have enthusiastically addressed the problem of unwanted loneliness. This is the case of the UK, which established the Ministry of Solitude in 2018. Fortunately, there is still a long way to go in Spain. The number of organizations interested in the subject is increasing. The strange thing about the matter is that all modern societies, including Spanish society at the moment, are technologically hyper-connected but very poorly communicated in the human realm.
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