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Journal cover: Quality in Ageing and Older Adults

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults

ISSN: 1471-7794

Online from: 2000

Subject Area: Health and Social Care

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Loneliness in later life: Preliminary findings from the Growing Older project

Document Information:
Title:Loneliness in later life: Preliminary findings from the Growing Older project
Author(s):Christina Victor, (St George's Hospital Medical School), Sasha Scambler, (Department of Public Health Sciences, St George's Hospital Medical School), John Bond, (University of Newcastle), Ann Bowling, (University College London)
Citation:Christina Victor, Sasha Scambler, John Bond, Ann Bowling, (2002) "Loneliness in later life: Preliminary findings from the Growing Older project", Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, Vol. 3 Iss: 1, pp.34 - 41
Keywords:Isolation, Loneliness, Loss, Old age
Article type:General review
DOI:10.1108/14717794200200006 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:MCB UP Ltd
Abstract:Loneliness is consistently presumed to be a specific ‘social problem’, which accompanies old age and growing older. Ninety per cent of the general population of Britain feel that loneliness is particularly a problem associated with old age. Data concerning the prevalence of loneliness amongst the population aged 65 and over are provided from a quantitative survey of 999 people across Great Britain using a special module commissioned from the ONS Omnibus survey. The overall self-reported prevalence of loneliness shows little change in the post-war period and challenges the stereotype that the problem of loneliness and isolation has become more prevalent. Socio-demographic and health factors were associated with loneliness but contact with family and friends was not. Both quantitative and qualitative data sets illustrate the importance of loss as a theme underpinning experiences of loneliness. Further analysis of these data offers the potential to develop a better understanding of what loneliness really is, what it means to those who experience it may offer the potential to develop interventions and strategies to ‘protect’ older people from this problem.

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