Grenier, A., Burke, E., Currie, G., Watson, S., & Ward, J. (2021). Social isolation in later life: The Importance of Place, Disadvantage and Diversity. Journal of Aging and Social Policy, 1-26. https://doi.org/10.1080/08959420.2021.1886637
Publication year: 2021

Social isolation among older people is a complex social problem and growing policy concern. This study investigated social isolation under the auspices of the Hamilton Senior Isolation Impact Plan, a government funded program in Canada. It situates the study of social isolation in a unique region of Ontario and involved 7 focus groups and 32 interviews with older people and stakeholders. Results outline how place and spatial relations can create and/or reinforce isolation; how addressing social isolation requires attention to the relationship between poverty, inequality and disadvantage; and how regional experiences of isolation may differ substantially from what is assumed, where diversity and the needs of particular sub-populations of older people are concerned. Findings highlight the need to broaden policy and practice efforts on social isolation to better include diverse groups of older people who may be poorly served by the agenda of connection alone.

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