This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Loneliness: a silent epidemic

Written by: | Published:

Older people often articulate that they are both lonely and isolated. These concepts and feelings are relevant to the role of the community nurse whose case load is often made up of a high proportion of older people.

Loneliness and isolation are becoming issues for both individuals and organisations as the UK population ages. With loneliness known to contribute to a reduction in health and well-being and a reliance on health services, community nurses could help to improve the quality of life for this group of patients.

Just raising the subject of loneliness with a client could be the start to improving wellbeing. By having a greater understanding and heightened awareness of loneliness among older people, community nurses may help to alleviate this common problem.

Loneliness

Loneliness has been described as a modern epidemic.1 Peplau and Perlman describe loneliness as 'the unpleasant experience that occurs when a person's network of social relationships is deficient in some important way, either quantitatively or qualitatively'.2

Loneliness and isolation are often linked, but are different concepts. Cattan et al also define social isolation in terms of networks and integration into a social world.3 One can be socially integrated and surrounded by others and can still feel lonely.4


Please login or register to read the rest of the article and to have access to downloads and comments.


What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Newsletter

Sign up to the newsletter

About

Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.

Archive

Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team

Authors

Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.