Lived realities of lonely older people — resisting idealisations of home

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 April 2020

Alison Jarvis  and Andrea Mountain

This article is based on research set up to explore temporal dimensions of loneliness amongst older people in a northern town. As the study progressed, spatial considerations and confinements emerged as a related and equally important feature. The article suggests that the ‘social sphere’ of lived reality, especially reality lived out in one confined space, is a prime candidate for what has been termed ‘de-familiarisation’. Social policy discourses focussed on ‘ageing in place’ can sometimes neglect the realities of older people’s circumstances, daily life and social contact. Central arguments put forward in the article are: that loneliness increases as spatial prospects recede; that ‘home’ can become a source of frustration and negativity rather than a source of solace and comfort; and that expanding and facilitating the social horizons of older people currently ‘confined’ to home should be prioritised within a genuinely age-friendly approach to social policy.

Centre for Policy on Ageing

Source: Centre for Policy on Ageing – Ageinfo210126231

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Published by Residential Forum

The Residential Forum is to promote the achievement of high standards of care and support for children and adults living in residential care and nursing homes, supported housing, residential schools and colleges, hospices and hostels. It contributes to improving the quality of service to the public. Members of the Forum are people of standing and experience drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors, as well as some who can speak for service users and carers.

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