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Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing

Isolation and older men

Understanding the challenge and developing new services

From Independent Age, International Longevity Centre-UK, Manchester City Council, the Whitworth Art Gallery, and the Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research, University of Manchester  

Friday 8 May 2015


A major report published by Independent Age and the International Longevity Centre UK - Isolation: the emerging crisis for older men – found 1.2 million people in England reporting a moderate to high degree of social isolation. Isolation was itself found to be an important factor contributing to loneliness in old age. At this conference, the authors of the study – Brian Beach and Sally Marie Bamford - provided an overview of the findings along with recommendations for challenging loneliness and the implications for local government, the third sector and government itself. The second half of the conference reported on work undertaken by Ed Watts from the Whitworth Gallery and commissioned by the Baring foundation to research older men’s participation in cultural activity across the UK. Men over 50 years old have traditionally been an under-represented audience in respect of cultural activities. Drawing on a range of case studies, the presentation explored issues relating to recruitment, participation and the impact on older men of engaging in cultural activities.