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Understanding and alleviating loneliness in later life: perspectives of older people

Sullivan, Mary Pat, Victor, Christina Rita, Thomas, Michael (2016) Understanding and alleviating loneliness in later life: perspectives of older people. Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, 17 (3). pp. 168-178. ISSN 1471-7794. (doi:10.1108/QAOA-06-2015-0031) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
https://doi.org/10.1108/QAOA-06-2015-0031

Abstract

Purpose There is extensive empirical literature that has sought to establish the prevalence of, and risk factors for, loneliness and social isolation in later life. Traditional empirical gerontological approaches have characterised loneliness as a linear experience that is both pathological and easily relieved with external intervention. The purpose of this paper is to explore the potential of qualitative interview data to reveal the possible complexities in understanding loneliness, including conceptual considerations for the dynamic and multi-dimensional aspects of loneliness. Design/methodology/approach The authors draw on two different studies where the purpose was to qualitatively examine the meaning of loneliness in the lives of older people and how they understood loneliness in the context of their daily life (n=37). Findings Interviews with “lonely” older people revealed that loneliness is a complex and dynamic experience. The authors also identified a range of internal and external factors that contribute to vulnerability for loneliness as well as resources to alleviate it. Originality/value The dynamic and multi-dimensional characteristics of loneliness in older people may help explain why community-based interventions to diminish it may be so challenging.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1108/QAOA-06-2015-0031
Uncontrolled keywords: Older people, Interventions, Emotional loneliness, Social engagement, Social environments, Social loneliness
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Mike Thomas
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2017 15:11 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 18:47 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/60744 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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