Research highlights importance of relationships in old age

A new report has stressed the importance of relationships as people get older, concluding that more support should perhaps be available to keep older couples together.

The study by Relate and New Philanthropy Capital was entitled 'Who Will Love Me When I'm 64', according to highlighted how vital good relationships and suggested this aspect of an ageing society is not being properly considered.

While one of recommendations was to provide more support - for example, in the shape of a counselling course or written guidance - another was that a new governmental post should be created: the minister for ageing.

Interestingly, the babyboomers - who are around pension age now - are far more likely to have divorced than their parents. Relate chief executive Ruth Sutherland noted that loneliness and isolation have a significant impact on health outcomes.

The report read: "Alongside these rising divorce rates, the latter half of the 20th Century saw an increase in cohabitation and remarriage, and the formation of stepfamilies and extended families. In general, the couple and family relationships of baby boomers have been characterised by greater fluidity that those of their parents' generation."

The story was also covered by, which picked out how one in five older people lack the confidence to actually develop new relationships, which amounts to around four million people.