The collapse of the traditional family and local social structures is now so advanced the British government has been forced to appoint a so-called Minister for Loneliness, to combat the near-total isolation from other human beings that millions of people suffer.
Britain’s atomised society, in which individuals are assumed to be self-sufficient and little importance is placed on community or family bonds, means an estimated nine million people, many of whom are elderly retirees abandoned by their families or the disabled, are affected by loneliness.
The government announced Wednesday that Conservative Minister for Sport and Civil Society Tracey Couch was to become the first ministerial lead on tackling loneliness, following work on the problem initiated by murdered Member of Parliament Jo Cox.
Research cited by the government as they launched the initiative found that in the United Kingdom, more than 9 million people “always or often feel lonely”, and that around 200,000 older people have not had a conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month.
Around one in 10 elderly people in the UK are estimated to be “chronically lonely”, with half of people over 75 living alone, reports the BBC.
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