Exploring emotional loneliness in older people living in retirement communities: A cross-cultural study

Project: UK industry

Project Details

Description

The purpose of this project is to explore older people’s experiences of emotional loneliness using attachment theory as a critical lens. Governments and service providers have devoted comparatively little attention to the psychosocial aspects of older people’s lives and inner life in long-lived individuals is almost wholly ignored. Theoretical frameworks that offer promising ways of understanding issues such as emotional loneliness could be highly profitable. This is particularly important for those seeking to develop retirement communities that support older people’s experiences of loneliness from a platform of objective empirical evidence.

Layman's description

The purpose of this project is to explore older people’s experiences of emotional loneliness using attachment theory as a critical lens. Accordingly, this project has the following key aims:

1) To advance understanding about how older people experience emotional loneliness and attachment and how these experiences change as they move into retirement community living.

2) To generate detailed qualitative data from 80 long-lived individuals in retirement communities across two countries (UK and Australia), involving (a) in-depth, systematic qualitative interviews about experiences of attachment and close relationships, (b) interviews to provide systematic data about experiences of emotional loneliness, and (c) interviews to explore how close relationships and feelings of loneliness have changed across the transition to retirement community living.

To translate data into key messages (in collaboration with our industrial partner, Guild Living) designed to facilitate improvements in care education, provision, and policy in relation to retirement community living.

Key findings

https://twitter.com/EducationBATH/status/1253641037458944000?s=20
Short title£392,000
StatusActive
Effective start/end date1/10/19 → …

RCUK Research Areas

  • Sociology
  • Social Policy
  • Psychology
  • Social Work

Keywords

  • old age
  • loneliness
  • ageing
  • bereavement
  • retirement
  • loss
  • wellbeing