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Promising approaches: to reducing loneliness and isolation in later life

Author(s)

JOPLING Kate

Publisher(s):

Age UK

Publication year:

2015

This report raises concerns that loneliness and social isolation among older people is becoming a serious public health issue. It draws on the views of experts and research evidence to set out a new framework for understanding and tackling loneliness in older people. The approach is based around three key challenges: reaching individuals; understanding the specific circumstances of an individual's loneliness; and supporting individuals to take up services that would help. Sections of the report cover: the foundation services (reaching, understanding and supporting individuals); the types of intervention that are most likely to meet older people's need for social contact; how technology and transport can facilitate social connection; and 'structural enablers' focusing on how services are delivered (i.e., at neighbourhood level, community development, volunteering, and age positive approaches). It also highlights areas where a greater understanding of how to address loneliness within the older community is needed: within care settings; in black and minority ethnic groups; and with lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans older people. Case studies are used throughout to demonstrate the variety of solutions needed to address a very personal and individual problem. Includes specific recommendations for service providers, commissioners and those involved with search. (Original abstract)


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