52% of older people in Georgia consider themselves emotionally lonely, and 45% consider themselves socially lonely. This is stated in a new research by the Georgian office of the UNFPA. The study examined the characteristics of loneliness, as well as the factors that cause loneliness in citizens aged 65-85 years.
As part of the research, in June 2021, 1,000 citizens of the specified age were interviewed in Tbilisi and the regions. According to Iago Kachkachishvili, director of the Institute for Social Research and Analysis, who conducted the above research commissioned by the UNFPA, the data are representative.
According to the authors of the research, the obtained data show that emotional loneliness is more prevalent among older persons than social loneliness. In particular, majority of them (52%) consider themselves emotionally more or less lonely; that is, they complain about the absence of persons with whom they would share their feelings and would have something in common.
On the other hand, according to authors of the research, the level of socially more or less lonely respondents is 45%. According to the researchers, these people
complain about the absence of a social network, which consists of a circle of close family and friends.
“Interestingly, whereas 28% of respondents report feeling severe emotional loneliness, only 16% of
respondents report feeling the same degree of social loneliness. It appears that older persons in Georgia
are not so much worried about the lack of people around them, but the lack of sharing emotions with
these people”, - the research says.
Statistical analysis shows that social loneliness in Georgia prevails among the persons, who:
- Rarely feel the presence of a person around them who, if necessary, will take them to a doctor.
- Rarely feel that they have a person with whom they can do something pleasant.
- Are relatively often nervous when they meet face-to-face a person they do not know well.
- Are dissatisfied with their financial status
- Rarely feel that they have someone ready to help them with their daily tasks and activities in case of their illness
Statistical (in particular, correlational) analysis with respect to demographic variables shows that older
respondents are more likely to feel lonely, as well as those who live in the capital or live alone.
One out of five respondents does not have a family member to whom they could talk about their personal
problems and worries; whereas 13% of older persons do not have a friend to share their problems and
However, when the respondents have such a person (persons) around them, older persons
report that they are very close to them (a family member - 47%, a friend - 32%).
The majority of older persons (65%) consider themselves more or less happy (scores: 6, 7, 8, 9 on a scale of 0-10) On the other hand, almost one fifth of the respondents consider themselves not very happy
(unhappy) (scores: 1, 2, 3, 4 on a scale of 0-10) According to the regression model, older persons living in multi-member families feel happier. In addition, as the age of older persons increases, the degree to which they consider themselves as happy decreases.
About one fifth(21%) of older persons participating in the study live alone. According to the document, statistical
analysis shows that two-person households are most common among the age group of older persons; In addition, half of older persons live in families with less than 3 members, and the other half - in families with more than 3 members.
The vast majority of older persons (86%) are pensioners who do not work. Only one-tenth of older persons are employed or self-employed. A small proportion of respondents (3%) are involved in subsistence farming.
62% of older persons do not have regular access to the Internet at home. In addition, they rarely use a computer or other gadgets/electronic devices (except when they are used for the purpose of watching TV programmes or movies).
; and about a fifth of them report that they usually use a
computer or other gadgets for 1-3 hours per day In general, about 30% of respondents do not have a gadget/computer nor basic computer skills to use it. The majority (59%) of respondents who have electronic devices at home or the skills to use them (about 70% of all respondents) never (0 hours) use these devices for anything other than watching TV programmes or movies.
As for the component of online communication such as
phone and video calls, a third of older persons make 1-5 calls and a fifth - 6-10 calls to family members, friends and/or for social interactions per week.