Elderly people hand in hand with Eredivisie players on the pitch


This weekend, some 400 elderly people took pitches in the Eredivisie. An initiative by, among others, the KPN Mooiste Contact Fonds, to combat social isolation amongst old people.

With this promotion, KPN Mooiste Contact Fonds, the Vriendenloterij, together with the Eredivisie and FOX, are calling attention to the growing problem of loneliness and social isolation amongst this target group. The initiative was part of the "Week against Loneliness".

Week against Loneliness
The "Week against Loneliness" will take place this year from October 1 to October 8. This week is organized annually to draw attention to loneliness in the Netherlands. Currently, there are more than 2.5 million people over the age of 65 in the Netherlands. The Nationaal Ouderenfonds (National Elderly Fund) website reveals that almost half of all elderly people in the Netherlands feel lonely. And one in 11 old people feels extremely lonely. That is more than 500,000 people! A large part of this group no longer goes out, partly because they have mobility problems, but also because family and friends never or rarely visit. In general, 43% of adults (19 and older) indicate that they feel lonely and 10% say they feel severely to extremely lonely. People who feel extremely lonely sometimes have only one social contact with someone else per month.

Social contact is healthy
Loneliness can cause both physical and mental problems. For example, it can affect the immune system, and loneliness increases the risk of Alzheimer’s and threatens the overall quality of life.

The KPN Mooiste Contact Fonds has been bringing people who feel lonely back into contact with their environment or, when it is valuable, with their peers for twelve years. As main sponsor of the Eredivisie, KPN, together with the KPN Mooiste Contact Fonds is bringing elderly people into contact with each other through football.