Unwanted solitude in the elderly

The vice-president of the Abrazando Ilusiones Foundation assisted on the 15th and 16th of June 2021 to the first edition of the online course: ‘Unwanted solitude in the elderly’, thanks to the teaching platform FORMADRID.


The topic that was assessed has a great importance as both unwanted solitude and the feeling of existential vacuum are real and alarming problems due to the changes that are currently taking place in our societies.


The unwanted solitude appears when someone’s social relations are somehow deficient or do not have enough quality or intensity. Many people experience feelings of unwanted solitude through their lives. However, those feelings are more common amongst the elderly. It is estimated that more than 2,5 million of old people feel lonely, 40% of those are older than 65 years old and it affects about twice as many women than men.


The unwanted solitude has negative physiological, immunological, psychological, emotional, and social effects. It is a risk factor that entails several adverse effects for the health and quality of life of old people. Thus, it is necessary to prevent it intervening and changing the social factors that cause it.


The high prevalence of unwanted solitude in the elderly shows the need to raise awareness about this problem and to create psychosocial programmes aiming to improve their quality of life promoting an active aging and the integration in the community’s environment.