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Loneliness in Older Life - Coursework Example

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Summary
This dissertation seeks to find out if community and day centres are meeting the needs of old people in the community, in terms of reducing loneliness and isolation. This was achieved by undertaking an extensive literature review into the definitions and different theories of loneliness and isolation, as well as the services currently available to the elderly…
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Loneliness in Older Life
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Loneliness in Older Life

Download file to see previous pages... By preventing these problems one would hope and expect that the experiences for older people in the community would become more pleasant, and enable them to lead a rich and fulfilled life. However this can only be achieved if all local bodies and private enterprise work together on gaining more knowledge and understanding of isolation, as it is not a problem that affects the elderly now, but will affect everyone else once they become a senior citizen. Despite these findings, the author concludes that community and day centres are only meeting the needs of the elderly who are able bodied and who are already aware of these services.
Older people are increasingly becoming more prone to experiencing loneliness within the community due to a number of factors which include age discrimination, stereotyping, poor engagement with and participation of older people, social exclusion, isolation and poverty (Welsh Assembly Government 2003). Loneliness can occur especially when individuals reach retirement age, and are no longer participating in activities that came as second nature to them. In addition to this, older people can face exclusion especially if they live in rural areas where accessibility is low. If they are not in rural areas, then there is the threat of becoming a crime victim in the cities. Community and day centres have been set up by the government through local councils however there are concerns as to whether these centres are doing enough to reduce the problems experienced by older people. For example, older people that have retired will be expecting to maintain their income levels, their active levels and to reduce their dependency on others (Welsh Assembly Government 2003). However, this is not always simple to achieve as those that have retired will find it difficult to maintain an income, especially if their savings and pension payments are not adequate to sustain them. Active lifestyles may not always be possible, as some older people become immobile during their later years or may end up relocating to rural areas, with a basic transport network. Even then, older people are frequently targets of violent crime which further restricts their mobility.

Greater London Authority (2006) reported that an increasing number of older people are living alone which introduces new challenges in the provision of community and day centres, as they have to consider the risks of isolation and devise solutions to reduce isolation in the community. It is reported that up to 75% of older people in the London area live alone, which more than that of the England and Wales combined; and that white older people are more likely to live alone than black or Asian older people (Greater London Authority 2006). This highlights the importance and significance of nuclear family structures in reducing ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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