HALF of over 85s in Chester spend at least ten hours a day alone.

That is the finding of research carried out by an in-home care provider.

Using the research, Home Instead Senior Care concluded that companionship is key to a healthy life but more needs to be done to reduce loneliness amongst the elderly in Chester.

The company surveyed more than 2,000 over 65s with nine in 10 stating that regular companionship would help them to stay mentally and physically healthy for longer.

The research revealed that many older people felt lonely with over a quarter of over 65s saying they spent eight hours alone daily, with almost half (49%) of over 85s facing at least ten hours a day alone.

The home care company is urging the public to take action to help older people in the community feel less lonely.

Chris Broadbent, owner of Home Instead Senior Care said: “In many cases, it’s simply having a friendly face pop by for a cup of tea and asking if they need assistance with their shopping.

"So our message is this; visit your grandma, take your parents out for lunch as often as you can, befriend older neighbours and, if you are looking to turn your compassion into a rewarding career, consider becoming a caregiver.”

The survey also revealed that 82% of older people in the local area want to live at home so as to not lose their independence and 67% also feel safe in the comfort of their own home.

Chris continued: “Most people would prefer to stay in their own home for as long as possible because it is where they feel the safest. We all find comfort in familiar surroundings, and for many people, leaving their home behind would be a traumatic experience.”

“Our care model centres around the individual needs of our clients and our caregivers can provide companionship and support, as well as encourage older people to be part of the community by engaging in activities where they can meet people, socialise, and feel connected.”

The home care company this month launched a television campaign to highlight how care at home works, as well as highlighting the rewarding role of working in care.