Summary - Vulnerable and lonely?

Risk and protective factors in an ageing society

Original title: "Kwetsbaar en eenzaam?"

Loneliness is regarded as an issue in an ageing society. It seems to be a persistent problem, and one to which there are no simple solutions. In order to combat loneliness in society, we first need to understand this complex phenomenon better. Is loneliness associated with old age, for example? Are those with support needs more susceptible to feelings of loneliness? Does having a wide circle of friends help protect people against loneliness? Does loneliness make people unhappy?

This study provides an insight into trends relating to loneliness in society as a whole, and in the course of an individual’s life. It focuses particularly on the cases of three vulnerable groups: older persons, nursing home residents and people who receive support under the Wmo (Social Support Act). The study also explores the underlying factors that, in combination, can exacerbate feelings of loneliness.