Hidden citizens: how can we identify the most lonely older adults?
GOODMAN Anna, SWIFT Hannah J., ADAMS Adrian
Campaign to End Loneliness
This report summarises the findings from the Hidden Citizens project, providing insights regarding the pathways into and out of loneliness and examples of how interventions and services identify the loneliest older adults. The project was conducted in two parts. First, a meta-review was conducted to explore the features of loneliness, its underlying mechanisms and how intervention programs identify and recruit their participants. The findings of the meta-review informed the second part of the project in which a number of interviews and focus groups with older people, service commissioners, service organisation CEO’s, managers and practitioners were conducted. This report also contains specific recommendations for policy makers, service providers and service commissioners on how to improve services and service provision, and identifies avenues for future research to explore. It shows that the experience of loneliness is likely to be a culmination of one or more factors, or set of circumstances, which include: membership of different social groups; personality; psychological response; environmental factors; life events, traumas and transitions; and personal circumstances. The report sets out recommendations considering ways to identify people experiencing loneliness across three different levels: the population, organisational and individual level. (Edited publisher abstract)