Loneliness and the elderly – is not inevitable.

This rose to 93 per cent when those aged over 65 were asked. Also, more than half of British adults said that admitting to loneliness was difficult for them.

Three quarters of over-65s (76 per cent) confessed that they would find it hard to admit to feeling lonely because they do not want to be a burden.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK said: “With millions of people affected, including 1.2 million chronically lonely older people, it’s clear that loneliness is a serious social problem in our country that we cannot and should not ignore.

The impact of loneliness can be devastating – mentally, emotionally and physically – and while there is no quick fix, we can all do something to change things for the better: a simple act like saying hello and having a chat can brighten up an older person’s day and do more good than most of us would ever guess.”

Lolita’s story

Lolita, 76, who lives in Neath, Wales, revealed in the commission’s report how loneliness had begun to ‘grind her down’.

In 2016 she had her third stroke and was left with limited mobility, using a wheelchair to get about.

To read more about Lolita’s story visit the Homecare.co.uk website.