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*Weldrick, R., & Grenier, A. (2018). Social isolation in later life: Extending the conversation. Canadian Journal on Aging. Volume 37, (1), 76-83.
Publication year: 2018

As Canada’s population continues to age, social isolation among older people is a growing concern and national-level priority. Although much is known about individual-level risks and negative health outcomes associated with social isolation in later life, the impact of life course trajectories and the more collective experiences are seldom considered. Current definitions and program responses tend to rely on individualized approaches to social isolation. Here, we argue that the conversation be extended to consider the social and cultural aspects of social isolation among older people. Specifically, we suggest that definitions and approaches consider three particular dimensions: temporal factors, spatial factors, and the relationship between social isolation and exclusion. Doing so, we argue, would result in a more inclusive approach to social isolation in late life, and the development of capacity to address social isolation among a wide range of older people, particularly the needs of vulnerable or marginalized groups.

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