Purpose - This paper aims to give an overview of the issue of loneliness, an update of issues heard of from across the country, as well as some positive stories and projects being delivered to alleviate loneliness in older age. Design/methodology/approach - This paper describes the current research into loneliness in older age, including related health issues and anecdotal evidence from local groups linking reductions in services with increased levels of loneliness in older age. Findings - Loneliness is a highly subjective emotion that is difficult and complex to measure. However, research has shown that men and women are affected differently. It has been shown to have strong links to health issues such as depression, Alzheimer's and heart disease as well as having been shown to be a bigger risk factor in early mortality than lifelong smoking and obesity. Originality/value - This paper highlights the first steps being taken by organisations working, under the umbrella of a recently launched Campaign to End Loneliness, towards further reducing loneliness in older age.
Working with Older People – Pier Professional
Published: Jan 1, 2011