LONDON — For most of us, the older we get, the more we slow down physically. But for some, growing old also means slowing down socially — so much to the point that some home-bodied seniors go days with little to no human interaction. A new survey of British elders sheds light on this sad, but true effect of aging, noting that hundreds of thousands of people often go a week without speaking to a single person.

伦敦——对大多数人来说,随着年龄的增长,我们身体的速度就会越慢。但对一部分人来说,变老也意味着社交活动的放缓——有些身在家中的老年人连着好些天几乎都不与其他人进行人际互动。一项针对英国老年人的新调查揭示了变老后这一可悲但真实的影响,调查指出,数十万人经常一周都和别人说上一句话。

According to the survey of 1,896 seniors over 65 in the United Kingdom, more than one in five (22%) will have a conversation with no more than just three people over the span of an entire week! That translates to nearly 2.6 million elderly folks who don’t enjoy regular human contact on a daily basis. Perhaps most alarming though is researchers say an alarming 225,000 individuals will go a week without talking to anyone face-to-face.

英国对1896名年龄在65岁以上的老年人进行了一项调查,其中超过五分之一(22%)的人一周内与不超过三个人进行交谈!也就是说,有近260万老年人每天无法进行正常的人际接触。也许最令人担忧的是,研究人员称有22.5万人一周不与任何人进行面对面的交谈。

“A friendly ‘hello’ or ‘how are you?’ is something most of us take for granted – it’s just part of every day life, but these latest figures show that hundreds of thousands of older people in the UK will spend today and the rest of this week alone, with no one to share even a few simple words with,” says Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, which partnered with Cadbury Dairy Milk to commission the research, in a statement.

英国一家慈善机构英国时代与吉百利牛奶巧克力联合进行了这次研究,英国时代主管卡洛琳·亚伯拉罕在声明中说:“我们大多数人认为一个亲切友好的问候是理所当然的——这只是每天日常生活的一部分,但这些最新数据显示,数十万老年人在英国今天甚至这周内都是孤独的,甚至不能和人分享一些简单的单词。”


“Loneliness is a huge problem because retirement, bereavement and ill health mean many older people find they are spending a lot less time enjoying the company of others than they’d like,” says Abrahams. “Loneliness can affect your health, your wellbeing and the way you see yourself – it can make you feel invisible and forgotten.”

亚伯拉罕说:“孤独是一个巨大的问题,因为退休、丧亲之痛和健康状况不佳意味着许多老年人发现,他们真正被陪伴的时间比自己希望的要少得多。孤独会影响健康、幸福和看待自己的方式,会让你觉得自己是隐形的、而且被遗忘了。”


Meanwhile, another survey of 2,000 people ages 16-45 in the UK shows that 55% of younger folks admit to worrying about being lonely in their elder years. With that in mind, two-thirds of this segment say they’re willing to do something to help boost the confidence of a lonely senior, but 37% worry that such a gesture wouldn’t be well-received. Another 30% feel too shy to spark up a conversation with seniors, 27% admit they aren’t sure how to help, and a quarter say they’re simply too busy themselves.

与此同时,另一项针对2000名年龄在16岁至45岁英国人的调查显示,55%的年轻人承认担心晚年会感到孤独。考虑到这一点,这部分人中有三分之二的人表示,他们愿意做一些事情来帮助孤独的老年人增强信心,但37%的人担心这样的举动不会受到欢迎。另有30%的人羞于与老年人交谈,27%的人承认不知道如何帮助老年人,四分之一的人说他们自己太忙了。

To help in that area, Cadbury and Age UK have launched a new campaign called “Donate Your Words” to help cheer up lonely seniors. The campaign encourages people to help fight loneliness by pledging to stop and chat with elders in their communities.

为了帮助这一领域,吉百利和英国时代发起了一项名为“捐出你的言语”的新活动,帮助孤独的老年人振作起来。这项活动鼓励人们承诺停下来与社区的老人们聊天,帮助他们战胜孤独。