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Isolation experiment mimics lonely life for elderly

3 July 2011 Last updated at 11:41 BST

Volunteers have cut themselves off from the world for a week, in an effort to reproduce the experience of more than a million elderly people who live lonely and isolated lives.

Volunteers were unable to communicate with anyone and they also simulated the physical effects of ageing by using glasses that impaired their eyesight and by wearing gloves that restricted movement.

One of the volunteers, Caro Hart, said the impact of being alone and being physically limited left her feeling low.

Friends of the Elderly's Richard Furze said the experiment shows some understanding of the isolation felt by older people.