How can we prevent social isolation and loneliness for older people?

Plan P is a project aiming to explore this question and test out approaches addressing this issue.

A decisive shift to prevention is increasingly emphasised in policy documents and directives but is still in many respects in its infancy in terms of an evidence-base, practical implementation and in gaining genuine traction amongst those planning and delivering services. Plan P will look at prevention in terms of older adults (aged 65 and over). This is a group of particular interest, because unlike for example early years, relatively little work has been done and there is little robust evidence about the successful interventions and support (other than around very specific areas such as prevention of falls). Nevertheless, it is a group where a move towards preventative services is strongly encouraged. Within wider area of prevention, the project will focus specifically on isolation and loneliness and on enhancing connectedness for older people.

The project will review existing evidence around preventative approaches in this context and open debate around key issues such as the meaning of ‘prevention’ and the role of universal preventative measures. It will simultaneously use service design methodology and best knowledge of policy/practice transfer to test out two preventative approaches on the ground with appropriate partners. Finally, it will attempt to engage a more general audience in conversation and contemplation of this issue.

2 thoughts on “How can we prevent social isolation and loneliness for older people?”

  1. Hi I have been explorigng this issue for some time as I live and work in a rural area. The best model I have found is Village Agents a project run in Gloucestershire. I recommend that you have alook at it. It has project evaluation completed by University researcher.

    1. Hi Douglas

      Thank you for this interesting example – lots to learn from their evaluation and case studies.


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