Tuesday, 18 June 2013

When poverty is about more than money

370000 people over 75 spend no time with anyone on a typical day. Nobody, not family, friends or a warden.  That is the startling statistic in a new paper by the  Centre for Social Justice as part of the hanover@50 debate. The key message is that to rely purely on financial indicators masks the true poverty of many older people. This level of isolation has huge impacts on health and mortality. But as the paper highlights, material and relational poverty often goes together.
Relationship breakdown, a more fragmented society and working patterns are cited as the cause. The solutions comes less readily to hand. Stronger couple relationships and more flexible employment are easier to say than do. But we cannot afford to ignore the challenge.