Presentation

Report
What do you expect at your age?
Loneliness and old age
Christina Victor,
School of Health Sciences &
Social Care,
Brunel University
E-mail: [email protected]
Presentation overview
• What is loneliness?
• Why is loneliness
important?
• Loneliness & old age
2
Terminological in exactitude!
KJV Psalms 25
verse 16 ’ Turn
to me and be
gracious to me,
for I am lonely
and afflicted’.
Living
alone
Being alone
Loneliness-emotional,
social, existential
Isolation
Solitude
What is loneliness?
Cognitive discrepancy theory
Loneliness results from the
difference between desired
and actual social relations
(Perlman & Pelau, 1981)either in quantity or quality of
relationships (or both)
Loneliness map-Britain 1971-2001….
Based on 4
measures:% single,
% living alone,
% in private
rented housing,
% lived in area
for less than a
year
Why does loneliness matter?
• Reduced or low quality of life
• Negative health behaviours (e.g.
smoking, alcohol)
• Negative health outcomes - Early
studies by Durkheim link loneliness
to mortality-50% higher for those
lonely/isolated (independent of
health status!)
• Excessive use of health serviceshospital admission, A&E contact,GP
consultations
‘The Loneliness’ (Ewa Gawlik)
Loneliness and old age
‘’A distressing feature of old age is
loneliness. All who have done
welfare work among the old have
found it the most common, if at
the same time the most
imponderable, of the ills from
which the aged suffer, and its
frequency was amply confirmed by
our study’’
(Rowntree, 1947,52)
Understanding loneliness
Life Stage Events
Interpersonal Engagement
(e.g. retirement, widowhood,
sensory impairments, physical
health)
(e.g. quality of relationships with
family, friends, neighbours)
Intrapersonal
Factors
(e.g. personality and
cognitive variables,
identity)
Social Environment
Wider Social Structures
(e.g. poverty, quality of health and
social care, ageism)
(e.g. living arrangements, community
connectedness, hobbies/interests,
pets, housing, car, holidays/seasons)
Source: Sullivan & Victor, 2012
Are older people the loneliest?
35
30
25
20
Male Always lonely
Male Sometimes lonely
Female Always lonely
15
Female Sometimes lonely
10
5
0
<25
25-34
35-44
45-54
55-64
65-74
Source: Victor & Yang, 2012
≥75
Has loneliness in old age increased?
SHELDON
1948
TOWNSEND
1954
VICTOR 2005
Always/often
8
9
9
Sometimes
13
25
32
Never
79
66
61
Source: Victor et al, 2009
Loneliness & ethnic minorities
30
25
20
15
45-64
10
65+
5
0
Source: Victor & Burholt, 2012
Care homes & loneliness
M (care worker) say “Why
you cry? Why you cry?” so I
say ‘’I feeling lonely’’
‘’ don’t, I don’t feel ill love…
…I just feel lonely.’’
Temporal aspects of loneliness
• 50% reported loneliness worse at night &
two thirds at weekend (Victor et al, 2005)
• ‘’I'm lonely of a night. ‘’(Man 16)
• ‘’Of a night you're lonely’’. (Woman 12)
• ‘’Such a lonely life … Saturdays and
Sundays are a bit dead for me…’’
• ‘’So long [Sunday] and so lonely.’’
Source: Bennett & Victor, 2012
Longitudinal aspects of loneliness
Improved Worse
Consistently Never
loneliness loneliness lonely (%)
Victor
&
(%)
(%)
12
25
22
Bowling
(2012)
Source: Victor & Bowling, 2012
lonely (%)
44
What is the point of loneliness
interventions?
To reduce the risk of loneliness evolving
into serious long-term health problems
To reduce prevalence of loneliness
To improve quality of life
To prevent loneliness from occurring
What loneliness interventions work?
• Balance of evidence is that..
• Effective interventions:
• Social activity and / or support in a group/skills
development ; Older people as active participants
& are theoretically grounded
• No or poor evidence of effectiveness:
• Internet training (group or one to one); One to one
providing (volunteer) activities, support, home
visiting

similar documents