Last Sunday was Father’s Day when one’s children pay show respect to their Dad; usually by a personal visit and sending a sloppy card to “The Worlds Best Dad” or something along those lines.
I did not get a visitation, card, phone call, text or email from my daughter. In fact by evening I was getting really worried because I thought something had happened to prevent her contacting me. I managed to reach her eventually by phone and told her of my concern, to which she got quite irritated and told me in no uncertain terms that she is holding down two jobs and just hadn’t had time to contact me.
Now I don’t give a pig’s bum about “Fathers Day”. To me it’s just another way for big business to make a quick buck selling crappy cards and presents. If she had told me in advance that she was not intending to do anything special for that day, I would have accepted that and slept easier knowing she was alright.
Today I did a little research on the net to find out if this was a general thing, or did it just happen to me?
Here are some of things I found out, which shocked me I must admit.
Half a million lonely old men are paying the price of the divorce boom.
Half a million elderly men lead lonely lives with no friends and no contact from their families,
One person in five with an elderly father is no longer in touch with him.
One in four claims to be too busy to maintain contact.
Divorce and family break-up has left millions of men without ties to their children and with few or no family links, said the charity “Help the Aged”.
Retirement deprives many of the company of work colleagues and others are left alone by bereavement or their own poor health. Daily Mail.
Half a million elderly men live lonely lives, with no support from the family.
Of the million elderly men who live alone, half have no human contact and many feel trapped inside their homes.
Amy Swan of Help the Aged said: ‘We are seeing the first real wave of the “divorce generation” hitting retirement, ‘As fathers were typically the parents who did not win custody of the children, many are entering later life with strained family ties. ‘Today, around half the number of older men living alone are experiencing some form of loneliness or isolation.’
The number of divorces tripled in the early 1990’s after the liberal reforms of 1969 made ‘quickie’ decrees available for the first time and removed the question of fault in many cases.
Men who divorced in the early 1990’s and many have lost all contact with children who would otherwise be close to them.
While divorce rates remain high the effects of the growth of cohabitation and rapid family break-up from the 1980s are now beginning to have an impact on the lives of men who have grown old.
A survey of 2,000 respondents carried out for the charity and the Zurich Community Trust by ICM Research said one in five adults felt guilty at not seeing an elderly father more often, half would like to have more contact with their father and two in five live too far away to see him regularly.
Two in five, the survey found, did not intend visiting ageing fathers last Sunday, Father’s Day.
So there you have it, at least I’m not alone (pun intended) in my loneliness.
To end on a brighter note, I did however get an artificial flower display and card from my “adopted” daughter, Wendy, in Cardiff on Saturday. That’s two this year, the last one was for my Birthday.