Approaches to counter loneliness and social isolation in older people

This learning module has been accredited by the Royal College of Nursing and was last updated in 2016.

All modules are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Duration: 01:00:00 Type: CPD modules Level: Nursing students, Registered nurses


Bob Price, Healthcare education and training consultant.

Short description

Many older people experience loneliness and social isolation. Discover the mental and physical health problems that result as a consequence.

Detailed description

Social isolation and loneliness are significant threats for older people and may be associated with mental and physical health problems. This module revisits what is meant by social isolation and loneliness and explores the way in which social change can trigger both problems. Social networks are discussed as the means by which older people can mediate the stresses of change around them.

The module summarises some of the health consequences of loneliness, indicates some simple measures nurses can use to limit the risk of institutional loneliness and examines how collaborative community ventures, mentoring and befriending schemes can help older people to access and rebuild social networks that may assist them to sustain wellbeing. Case study material is used to highlight contrasting profiles of older people who may be either more or less at risk of social isolation.


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