SHS Web Conf.
Volume 131, 20228th International Multidisciplinary Research Conference SOCIETY. HEALTH. WELFARE
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Published online||11 January 2022|
Loneliness of seniors in long-term care institutions and COVID-19 restrictions
University of Latvia, Faculty of Social Science, Riga, Latvia
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
The ageing of society is a significant social and economic challenge in the 21st century Europe. The article analyses loneliness and social isolation among seniors in long-term care (LTC) institutions, as well as how COVID-19 restrictions influence their social isolation. Loneliness and social isolation are different phenomena, but they are interconnected. The feeling of loneliness is a person’s psychological state, but it is especially exacerbated among seniors. Loneliness is closely linked to the deficit of social relations. The study employs a mixed methods approach: a survey using the UCLA Loneliness Scale and semi-structured interviews with social workers in LTC institutions during the first wave of COVID-19 in the spring of 2020. A significant number of seniors in LTC experience loneliness or social isolation. The qualitative interviews reveal factors that account for loneliness among seniors. The study also indicates how social workers can reduce seniors’ sense of loneliness and social isolation caused by COVID-19 restrictions. Daily routines and pandemic constraints in LTC institutions to some extent limit the social worker’s ability to address the loneliness of seniors.
Key words: seniors 65+ / loneliness / social isolations / long-term care institutions / the duties of social workers in long-term care
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2022
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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