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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