Is social exclusion still important for older people?

Age UK
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Social exclusion among older people has received little attention, despite the fact that older people are at high risk of social isolation and loneliness, as well as exhibiting substantial inequalities in income and housing. The study analysed data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), collected in 2002 and 2008, to examine how patterns of social exclusion have changed. Social exclusion was measured across 7 domains including exclusion from social relationships, local amenities, financial products, civic activities and access to information, decent housing and public transport, cultural activities, and common consumer goods. The report discusses: how social exclusion can be measured among older people; factors associated with the risk of being socially excluded in 2008; how exclusion status changes over time for individuals; and the impact social exclusion has on people’s lives. The findings show that levels of social exclusion rose slightly between 2002 and 2008 among people aged 50 and above. In 2002, 54.4% were not excluded on any domain, reducing to 52.3% in 2008. The report highlights how an older person’s demographic, socioeconomic and health characteristics are associated with whether or not they are socially excluded. The policy implications of these findings are discussed.

Subject terms:
longitudinal studies, older people, social exclusion, government policy;
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