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Tzouvara V, Papadopoulos C, Randhawa G. A narrative review of the theoretical foundations of loneliness. Br J Community Nurs. 2015; 20:(7)329-334

Spare a thought for the lonely: the role of palliative care

02 February 2024
Volume 29 · Issue 2

Reports from the Office for National Statistics (2018) suggest the UK has the highest rates of loneliness when compared to the rest of the European Union. Rubin (2023) has reported that 28% of seniors in the US live alone; this equates to 14.7 million people, of which 9.7 million are women. In the UK, Beach and Bamford (2014) have put the spotlight on the population of older men which they see as growing faster than women, and while 911 000 are living alone, this figure is set to rise to 1.5 million by 2030. These figures highlight the mismatch between policy to tackle loneliness and the need for service provisions that are gender-neutral. Current policies ignore the fact that men and women experience social isolation in different ways. In the same vein, it is well-documented that men are less likely than women to seek and access medical services on offer. Beach and Bamford (2014) reported that males were more prone to loneliness than females. They reported that around 1.2 million men over 50 years (14%) experienced a moderate-to-high degree of social isolation. However, of interest here is the other finding from this report that nearly 4.2 million men over 50 years (48%) experienced some degree of loneliness. From this, two points emerge:

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