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Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing

New booklet on social isolation among older people launched by MICRA

12 November 2015

A new booklet entitled “Social isolation among older people in urban areas: a review of the literature for the Ambition for Ageing programme in Greater Manchester” has been launched by MICRA on November 4th 2015.


Written by Dr. Tine Buffel, Samuèle Rémillard-Boilard, and Professor Chris Phillipson, this booklet aims to support the development of the Ambition for Ageing Programme in Greater Manchester, led by Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation (GMCVO).

Initiated in 2014, Ambition for Ageing is a £10 million programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund that seeks to reduce social isolation of seniors and contribute to the development of age-friendly neighbourhoods in Greater Manchester. Over the next five years, 24 neighbourhoods across Greater Manchester will be supported through this programme to develop new local social activities for older adults. Designed by and for older people, each of these initiatives will contribute to the creation of more socially connected communities and help generate new approaches that the whole of the city-region can learn and benefit from (GMCVO).

The new booklet presents the theoretical framework used by the various project stakeholders (local authorities, voluntary sector organisations, academics, members of the community). Its’ purpose is to review what we know about social isolation of older adults by addressing the following questions:

  • What is social isolation and why is it important to tackle this issue?
  • Who is more at risk of social isolation?
  • Why is it important to promote social participation and social connectedness for older people?
  • How can we respond to social isolation? What has been done and how successful was it?

Starting from a theoretical standpoint, the first sections of the booklet provide definitions of key concepts and discuss the impact and risk factors associated with social isolation of older adults. The booklet finally provides evidence about the most effective forms of intervention and concludes with a list of practical recommendations to reduce social isolation.

Three key conclusions from this booklet are:

  • First, the need to support a variety of interventions to reflect an increasingly diverse population of older people.
  • Second, the importance of co-production with older people from planning, delivery of programmes, to evaluation.
  • Third, to build whenever possible on existing community capacity and resources.

Download the new social isolation among older people booklet

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