The time we spend alone each day gets longer as the years go on, new research shows.
That’s 73 million older people alone, on average, for seven waking hours each day.
While time alone is not necessarily bad, loners risk not staying active, growing isolated, and having no one to help out in an emergency.
Naturally, living arrangements make a difference.
Nearly 17 million Americans over 60 live by themselves. They spend about twice as much time alone as those who live with a spouse or partner. And one in three of them say they spend all their waking hours alone.
The time we spend alone balloons as we age. The youngest people in the study, those under 40, spend about three-and-a-half hours alone. The oldest, over 80, spend nearly eight hours alone.
As they age, women spend more time by themselves than men, especially since they tend to live longer and to live on their own.
Education makes a difference. Older people with a high-school diploma or less are on their own more than those with a college degree. That is explained, in part, by people with less education being less likely to be married, it said.
As for what people do with all these hours on their own, other Pew research says Americans over 60 are spending more than half their leisure time in front of televisions, computers, tablets and the like.
Meanwhile, the time they spend on other activities like reading and socializing has dropped, the research says.