The Equation of Friendship

Updated: Aug 31, 2021

Living in London and being an elderly person can have many positive aspects (access to the best healthcare professionals, better choice of services etc.), but few people realise one negative side of the equation: loneliness. Different studies and researches have demonstrated that loneliness is damaging people’s physical and mental health and is more harmful than obesity or smoking 15 cigarettes a day. In addition, this condition and feeling are exacerbated in one of the most frenetic and hectic cities in the world: London.

Old age has maturity and wisdom as natural characteristics, which should be appreciated as much as impetuousness and inexperience in the young people because each stage of the life has its own unique aspect. Maturity and wisdom come through the great and amazing journey called life. Each individual has a treasure of experiences, encounters and adventures, which has a priceless value and is too precious not to be shared with others. In addition, although the majority of us believe that elderly people are not interested in new friends due to the potential few years ahead of them, the reality is that even at advanced ages new relationships prosper and take root.

intergenerational hug

At Sant'Egidio, we are privileged witnesses of this friendship every time during Our Cup of Tea. We sit and have dinner with our elderly friends, who tell us unbelievable experiences of their lives. For example, John had a professional relationship with the Royal Family and knew personally some of them or Bob had a job which allowed him visiting so many countrie