The pandemic massively increased loneliness among seniors, which is why a project group against loneliness is now to be created with 20 new jobs.

During the corona pandemic, the loneliness of older people in Germany has increased massively. For many over 85-year-olds, it lasted a particularly long time. This emerges from a response from the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs to a request from the left, which is available to the editorial network Germany (RND). Accordingly, the proportion of people without sufficient social relationships increased in all age groups in the first year of the pandemic. The over-60s were particularly badly affected.

Accordingly, in the group of 60 to 69 year olds, the proportion of those who felt lonely in the Corona summer of 2020 was the highest at 13.1 percent. Before the pandemic, the proportion among them was 9 percent, about the same as in other age groups.

It is also noticeable that this “loneliness rate” in all age groups fell back to almost the pre-corona level after the summer of 2020, but not among the over 85-year-olds. The rate there has risen massively: in 2014 it was 3.5 percent, and from 7.8 percent in the summer of 2020 it rose to more than 12.4 percent at the beginning of last year, as determined by the German Center for Gerontology on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs Has.

The ministry sees loneliness as a socio-political problem and wants to take targeted action against it: loneliness “could be involved as a risk factor in the development of diseases such as depression, dementia, cardiovascular diseases and substance abuse and on the other hand be the result of diseases such as depression and dementia,” according to the letter .

The Ministry for Family Affairs therefore founded a “Loneliness Competence Network” in which expertise on the subject is bundled and a “strategy against loneliness” is developed together with the ministry. As can be seen from the answer to the Left question, the ministry is providing the project group with a total of 20 staff positions.

“Loneliness is a huge problem, regardless of age,” said the family policy spokeswoman for the left faction, Heidi Reichinnek, the RND. The psychological stress caused by loneliness is far too often left untreated. According to the Ministry of Family Affairs, the need and availability of therapy places is still unknown. “The federal government clearly recognizes a connection between poverty and loneliness,” Reichinnek said. “We must enable everyone to participate in social life – regardless of income.”