Article

Loneliness in older people

Javier Yanguas Lezaun, ”la Caixa” Programme for Elderly People

Loneliness is a challenge of growing importance in 21st century Western societies. With a view to being able to act on and pre-empt the difficulties that go hand in hand with loneliness, “la Caixa” Foundation interviewed more than 14,000 older people attending its social and leisure centres and asked them about, among other matters, their feelings of loneliness. The responses showed that these feelings were very frequent among older people, and that in approximately one in six cases the feeling of loneliness was severe or very severe. Factors such as gender and educational level influenced feelings of loneliness. In order to offset these feelings, older people employed various strategies, including proactive initiatives and a positive outlook towards being alone. However, those who had most severe feelings of loneliness were precisely those who applied to a greatest extent strategies based on resignation and passive acceptance of their situation.
Key points
  • 1
       Loneliness was felt to some degree by 64% of the older people interviewed. In 14.8% of the sample this feeling of loneliness could be described as severe or very severe.
  • 2
       The sense of loneliness is slightly different in older men and women: the latter are more prone to emotions related to abandonment and emptiness than the former.
  • 3
       People with lower educational attainment have more feelings of loneliness.
  • 4
       People who experience greater loneliness tend to apply coping strategies that hinge more around resignation and passive acceptance of the situation.

Classification

Tags

Subject areas

Related content

Article

Can home care for older people be improved?

Home care for elderly people should reconcile healthcare and care linked to social services. This study provides data on the application of a tool to coordinate and optimise these two types of care.

Article

Who is affected by loneliness and social isolation?

The most visible face of loneliness is the feeling of not having people to call on or trust in case of need. Who does it affect most? We analyse the influence of factors such as age and gender.

Report

Long-life societies confronting the challenge of long-term care

What does long-term care represent for societies with increasing life expectancy? We analyse the research that exists on this issue.

Article

Life dissatisfaction during the covid-19 pandemic in Spain

Poor health and job loss are the main factors associated with dissatisfaction with life during the covid-19 pandemic in Spain. Our analysis in this article.

Article

Loneliness during lockdown: An epidemic within the covid-19 pandemic

Has covid-19 worsened feelings of loneliness? According to this study on over 55s in Andalusia, during lockdown feelings of loneliness increased from 47% to 56%, especially affecting women

You may also find interesting

A systematic review of the research on rural vulnerability

Article

A systematic review of the research on rural vulnerability


Social Inclusion

This article presents a systematic review of the literature on rural vulnerability research in order to identify the different trends related to the sources of socio-environmental vulnerability in rural Spain.

The impact of gender-based violence on sons and daughters: the role of schools according to the pupils

Article

The impact of gender-based violence on sons and daughters: the role of schools according to the pupils


Social Inclusion

Some 93% of children have heard of gender violence. Their preferential source of information is the school setting but, if faced with a situation of gender-based violence, they are unsure whether it would be the place to find help.

How do gender, experience and caseload affect judicial decisions on intimate-partner violence cases?

Article

How do gender, experience and caseload affect judicial decisions on intimate-partner violence cases?


Social Inclusion

Are male and female judges equally likely to grant restraining orders in cases of gender-based violence? According to this study, gender alone is not a determining factor but it is a key factor, together with experience and caseload.