Divorce and family breakdown have left millions of elderly men leading unhappy and isolated lives, a charity has warned.
One in five adults has lost touch with their father, says Help the Aged, while one in four is too busy to contact them regularly.
The liberalisation of divorce law in the late sixties has been blamed for powering family breakdown and damaging relationships between fathers and their children.
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.”