One in five children never spend time with older people who are not their grandparents, and 68 per cent of older people have no contact with the young outside family.
Four out of five elderly people would love to share their experiences and offer advice and support to the younger generation, but 76 per cent of pensioners don't think their wisdom will ever be passed on.
Now an initiative has been launched to encourage children to learn about older people's lives – and to help combat loneliness.
The charity Anchor, which carried out the research, has sent 15,000 packs called Life Histories to schools.
The plan is to link classrooms with their local pensioner communities.
The charity is backed by actor Bernard Cribbins, 85, a veteran of Carry On films and now the star of Old Jack's Boat.
He said: "It's so important to encourage new generations to spend time speaking with their seniors."
Anchor's Jane Ashcroft said: "We hope to create connections across the generations."
For more information on the campaign, and how to get involved, visit Anchor.org.uk.