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A new perspective on loneliness in later life

, : A new perspective on loneliness in later life. Issues in Mental Health Nursing 16(6): 583-592

Loneliness in later life remains a serious problem despite extensive research across the life span. Unfortunately, most studies of loneliness that include older adults focus on individuals who are already lonely; findings suggest interventions dependent upon external factors such as socialization and functional status. Such interventions are not always feasible for older adults, who may have experienced social and functional losses. Nurses must adopt a new perspective in examining loneliness in later life. This new perspective should include a more positive approach that focuses on older adults who are not lonely even though they may have experienced decreased socialization or physical function. Identification of strategies employed by these older individuals may be used to help many elders avoid loneliness and help others cope with the related losses so frequent in later life.


PMID: 7499124

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