Preventing loneliness and social isolation among older people

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Social care Institute for Excellence (Great Britain)
Social Care Institute for Excellence
Date of publication
1 May 2012
At a glance; 60
Older Adults
Social welfare
Material type

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This At a glance briefing explains the importance of tackling social isolation and loneliness, particularly among older people. It highlights the adverse effects of feeling isolated and describes a number of services that have been found to help reduce the problem.

These kinds of services, designed to improve wellbeing, sit within the wider ‘preventative agenda’. Preventive services offer a continuum of support ranging from the most intensive tertiary services, such as intermediate care or reablement, down to secondary or ‘early intervention’ and, finally, ‘primary prevention’, like the services discussed here, which aim to promote wellbeing. Like most approaches to primary prevention, services designed to reduce loneliness are normally aimed at people with relatively few health or social care needs. They are intended to reverse the negative impact on health that loneliness can have, prolong people’s independence and improve overall quality of life.