Isolating elders in retirement homes places them in a static relationship to society. The individual is forced to operate out of a reduced context, his capacity to function in society is limited. The elder's role becomes irrelevant perpetuating the need for isolation. There is strong evidence that senility sets in sooner and faster with limited physical and intellectual stimulation.
In the European Union, 28% of those aged between 65 and 79 were living on their own in 1995. The proportion rose to 45% in the case of those aged 80 and over.