Research into the cause and effect of loneliness
The majority of older people are not severely lonely, but current research indicates that about half of older New Zealanders experience some level of loneliness, and 8-9% feel lonely all or most of the time. This is important, not just because loneliness is painful, but because having inadequate social relationships has been shown to be as bad for health as smoking. Loneliness has also been linked to increased likelihood of entering rest home care.
The good news is that there is growing information on effective interventions to reduce loneliness and social isolation, and greater understanding of how people can build resilience to prevent loneliness, or help themselves if they find that their social networks are not meeting their needs.Click here to find the full research library on loneliness
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