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Already squeezed by the demands of work and looking after their own children, many find it difficult to devote the time needed to elderly relatives.
As a result there are concerns that elderly people living alone are becoming increasingly neglected.
For Andy, 59, who lives in the village of Bardsey to the north of Leeds, the benefit is knowing that his mother is not lonely.‘Where Mum used to live, she belonged to the Women’s Institute but talking to her she said her loneliness was about the day-to-day stuff, eating on her own at night and having no-one to chat to,’ he says.‘When I looked into it I realised that living alone can actually accelerate ageing.
Now Mum is just down the bottom of the garden so we can have dinner together each day.
Nearly two in five said entire days went by without them speaking to anyone, and around half said they had felt lonely for years.
And campaigners warned that many people — particularly pensioners — were suffering in silence, as the majority had not told their family how they felt.
Not only is erecting a granny annexe in the garden relatively cheap but it also maintains privacy for both parties.
And there are financial advantages — if a relative over 65 is living in it then it will be exempt from council tax.‘We have been in the business for 30 years but in the past five years there has been a dramatic increase in demand for these sort of buildings for the elderly to live in,’ says Felix Bolger, managing director of Homelodge, a company that has erected some 200 annexes for elderly clients in recent years.‘What people are finding is that rather than spending £50,000 a year on an old people’s home, for a year or two’s money they can purchase an asset that will be there for good.’There are also benefits for wider society.
‘There is a lot of talk about a lack of housing, particularly family-sized houses,’ says Mr Bolger.
‘The benefit here is by moving into an annexe, older people not only release their capital but allow their family house to go back on the market.’Of all the problems facing the country, how to care for a rapidly ageing population is one of the most pressing.
And in many cases the form this neglect takes is not physical — but emotional.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating