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A lonely elderly man

Odense is working to combat loneliness in elderly men

Odense is working to combat loneliness in elderly men

A new men’s club for pensioners is expected to launch in the Danish city of Odense

According to the Municipality of Odense, new research has found that elderly men experience loneliness more frequently and more severely than women. In addition to this, it found that they struggle more than women when forming connections and integrating into new communities.

Taking all of this into account, the Municipality of Odense and the Red Cross Odense agreed that something must be done to improve the quality of life of elderly men. As such, they began to investigate how loneliness can be reduced and how men can be motivated to leave their homes to engage in social activities.

Søren Windell, councillor in the elderly and disability area in Odense Municipality, explained that men’s desire to live can quickly disappear when they are left alone after the death of their partners. “Here, family and friends have an important function, but if we do not have that network, we as a society must step in,” Windell noted.

How will Odense combat loneliness?

The aforementioned research found that elderly men are extremely difficult to motivate when it comes to social interactions. For this reason, one of the ways in which Odense hopes to combat loneliness is to actively track down lonely men and persuade them to engage in activities outside their homes.

On its website, the Municipality of Odense explained that there are several reasons why the elderly would rather stay at home – even if they are feeling unbearably lonely. Some of these reasons are modesty, caution, and the fear of leaving one’s comfort zone to try new things.

Another way in which Odense aims to help the lonely elderly is through the establishment of a new men’s club for pensioners which will be founded in the Skibhus Centre. The chairman of the centre Jens Arne Petersen spoke to the municipality, explaining that the centre aims to launch the pensioners’ club as soon as the pandemic allows it.

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