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Journal article Full text available online for free

Is loneliness in later life a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Authors:
PIKHARTOVAA Jitka, BOWLING Ann, VICTOR Christina
Journal article citation:
Aging and Mental Health, 20(5), 2016, pp.543-549.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

Objectives: There are many stereotypes about ageing and later life. The authors looked at the association between expectations and stereotyping of loneliness in old age and actual self-reported loneliness status 8 years later in English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). Method: Data from 4465 ELSA core members aged over 50 who responded to Waves 2 (2004) did not report loneliness in Wave 2, and responded to loneliness questions at least once between Waves 3 and 6 (2006–2012) were used in multivariable repeated measures logit regression analysis to estimate relationship between perceived stereotypes and expectation of loneliness in older age and actual loneliness reported within 8 years of follow-up. Results: Twenty-four per cent of respondents from the analytical sample agreed at Wave 2 that old age is time of loneliness and 33% expected to be lonely in old age. Loneliness was reported by 11.5% of respondents at Waves 3–6. Both stereotypes and expectation were significantly associated with later reported loneliness (OR 2.65 (95% CI 2.05–3.42) for stereotypes and 2.98 (95% CI 2.33–3.75) for expectations in age-sex adjusted analysis). Both variables significantly predicted future loneliness even when socio-demographic circumstances were taken into account and both variables were mutually adjusted although the effect was reduced (OR's 1.53 (95% CI 1.16–2.01) for stereotypes and 2.38 (95% CI 1.84–3.07) for expectations). Conclusions: Stereotypes and expectations related to loneliness in the old age were significantly associated with reported loneliness 8 years later. Interventions aimed at changing age-related stereotypes in population may have more impact on reducing loneliness than individually based services.

Journal article

Age and loneliness in 25 European nations

Authors:
YANG Keming, VICTOR Christina
Journal article citation:
Ageing and Society, 31(8), November 2011, pp.1368-1388.
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press

Loneliness is normally perceived as a problem of old age. However, evidence suggests that loneliness peaks during adolescence, and there are demonstrable variations between nations in reported rates of loneliness. This study investigated the prevalence of loneliness across different age groups in 25 European nations, with a focus on people of an advanced age. Data was drawn 47,099 samples, aged 15 to 101 years, from the European Social Survey, which included a self-measure of loneliness. Findings indicated that the prevalence of loneliness increased with age, but a greater impact came from the nation in which one lived. Russia and Eastern European nations had the highest proportions of lonely people, at 10 to 34% for different age groups, and Northern European nations the lowest below 6%. Explanatory factors for the results are identified and discussed, providing a basis for a subsequent and formal study.

Journal article

Loneliness in later life: preliminary findings from the growing older project

Authors:
VICTOR Christina, et al
Journal article citation:
Quality in Ageing, 3(1), March 2002, pp.35-41.
Publisher:
Pier Professional
Place of publication:
Brighton

Loneliness is consistently presumed to be a specific 'social problem'. which accompanies old age and growing older. Ninety percent of the general population of Britain feel that loneliness is particularly a problem associated with old age. Data concerning the prevalence of loneliness amongst the population aged 65 and over are provided from a quantitative survey of 999 people across Great Britain using a special module commissioned from the ONS Omnibus survey. The overall self-reported prevalence of loneliness show little change in the post-war period and challenges the stereotype that the problem of loneliness and isolation has become more prevalent. Socio-demographic and health factors were associated with loneliness but contact with family and friends was not. Both quantitative and qualitative data sets illustrate the importance of loss as a theme underpinning experiences of loneliness. Further analysis of these data offers the potential to develop a better understanding of what loneliness really is, what it means to those who experience it may offer the potential to develop interventions and strategies to 'protect' older people from this problem.

Journal article

From pillow to post

Author:
VICTOR Christina
Journal article citation:
Health Service Journal, 13.8.92, 1992, pp.20-22.
Publisher:
Emap Healthcare

Describes an inner-city project which identified deficiencies in admission policies, information flow and discharge arrangement; presents an action checklist to improve the procedures involved.

Book

The social world of older people: understanding loneliness and social isolation in later life

Authors:
VICTOR Christina, SCAMBLER Sasha, BOND John
Publisher:
Open University Press
Publication year:
2009
Pagination:
262p., bibliog.
Place of publication:
Maidenhead

Developments to the physical environment, scientific and technological innovation, the reorganisation of work and leisure and the impact of globalization and global capitalism have all influenced the nature of the world in which we now live. Social engagement and relationships, however, remain important at any age and their quality is a key element contributing to the quality of life of older people. This book provides a detailed account of loneliness and social isolation as experienced by older people living in Britain. The authors consider the incidence and effects of isolation and loneliness, identifying the factors which lead to such experiences and considering potential interventions. They also argue that these feelings are experienced at all stages of the life course and not unique to the social world of older people. Victor, Scambler and Bond rationalise that this is an important area, as both loneliness and social isolation are negatively associated with both quality and quantity of life - whilst the maintenance of social relationships is seen as a key component of 'successful ageing'.

Journal article

Health beliefs and GP consultations by older people: a secondary analysis of the British health and lifestyle survey

Authors:
PENDRY Elizabeth, BARRETT Geraldine, VICTOR Christina
Journal article citation:
Health Care in Later Life, 3(4), 1998, pp.237-251.

In the UK, the general practitioner (GP) is the main health service contact for older people. The increasing number of older people and a rise in reported morbidity among this group suggest that expenditure on GP services is set to increase. Using the Health and Lifestyle Survey, carried out in the UK in 1991/2, this study aims to examine who consults GPs and why. This analysis looks at the effect of older people's health beliefs on GP consultation rates, in conjunction with health and symptom experience. The findings do not indicate and 'inappropriate' use of GP services by older people. Concludes with the suggestion that it is not merely the presence of symptoms that prompts a consultation but it is the impact these symptoms on the individual's ability to function that is significant.

Journal article

An option to keep open

Author:
VICTOR Christina
Journal article citation:
Health Service Journal, 13.2.92, 1992, pp.22-23.
Publisher:
Emap Healthcare

Argues that the advocates of community care ignore some of the important functions undertaken by hospital long term care, which may include rehabilitation and be more attuned to the wishes and needs of elderly people.

Book

Health and health care in later life

Author:
VICTOR Christina
Publisher:
Open University
Publication year:
1991
Pagination:
190p.,tables,diags.,bibliog.
Place of publication:
Milton Keynes

Looks at the health status and at the health beliefs and behaviour of older people. Goes on to describe current patterns of health and social care utilization by older people and concludes with a discussion of how these may be affected by recent policy changes in Britain.

Journal article Full text available online for free

Exploring gender, age, time and space in research with older Pakistani Muslims in the United Kingdom: formalised research 'ethics' and performances of the public/private divide in 'the field'

Authors:
ZUBAIR Maria, VICTOR Christina
Journal article citation:
Ageing and Society, 35(5), 2015, pp.961-985.
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press

Reflecting on the authors experiences of undertaking fieldwork for the Economic and Social Research Council New Dynamics of Ageing study of ‘Families and Caring in South Asian Communities', this paper maps out the key methodological and ethical challenges for researching ageing ethnic minority populations and highlights the importance of developing socially appropriate research methodologies and ethical frameworks for carrying out research. Using a reflexive approach, the paper explores the significance of gender, age, time and space to the fieldwork processes and the ‘field’ relationships formed at various stages of the research process. In particular it focuses on three key emergent issues which presented particular challenges for the authors and their older Pakistani Muslim participants: (a) structuring of time in daily life; (b) gendered use of public and private spaces; and (c) orality of informal social contexts and relationships. Using illustrations from fieldwork and performativities of public/private identities, the authors highlight important tensions between formalised ethical and methodological dimensions of conducting funded research and the realities of being in ‘the field’. The paper concludes by emphasising the need to explore further not only the ways in which researchers can adopt more socially and culturally sensitive data collection processes and methodologies at the micro level of their interactions with research participants, but also contextualising the particular challenges experienced by researchers and their participants in terms of the wider research frameworks and agendas as well as the broader social contexts within which they live and work. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Older people’s perceptions of assistive technology – an exploratory pan-European study

Authors:
WILLIAMS Veronika, MCCRINDLE Rachel, VICTOR Christina
Journal article citation:
Journal of Integrated Care, 18(1), February 2010, pp.38-44.
Publisher:
Emerald

This paper describes a survey undertaken to explore how assistive technology in the form of a wrist-worn device is perceived by older people. The survey was part of a larger study funded by EU Framework 6, ENABLE, which involved development of a wrist-worn assistive technology device capable of providing a variety of functions such as an alarm system, falls detection, navigation through GPS and an event reminder, thus enabling older people and their carers to live more independently and with reassurance. The purpose of the survey was to gain insights into the general issues that concern older people if they are required to wear and use assistive technology, and to identify more specifically the views of older people on the potential functionalities of the intended, future wrist-worn device. The questionnaire was sent out to participants in the UK, Czech Republic, Greece, and Belgium, and 158 completed questionnaires were returned. The results demonstrated a number of older people engaging with technology; a large number used a mobile phone, and almost half owned and used a computer and the internet. The device functions relating to emergency alarm systems and fall detections were rated as important. However, despite the potential benefits, it is clear from the results of the survey that privacy and confidentiality are significant concerns which can impede successful implementation.

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