Social isolation and loneliness in people aged 55 and over in Milton Keynes

Minocha, Shailey; Holland, Caroline; McNulty, Catherine; Banks, Duncan and Palmer, Jane (2015). Social isolation and loneliness in people aged 55 and over in Milton Keynes. The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.


Professor Shailey Minocha and Catherine McNulty of the Faculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology along with Dr Caroline Holland of Faculty of Health and Social Care and Dr Duncan Banks of Faculty of Science of The Open University, UK, in association with Age UK Milton Keynes, have conducted research to investigate the conditions that lead to social isolation and loneliness among older people (55 years and above) in Milton Keynes, and to recommend possible strategies and solutions to prevent and mitigate isolation. The project was funded by the Milton Keynes Council and commissioned by the Senior Joint Commissioner, Adult Community Services. The research has involved a review of academic and policy literature on social isolation and loneliness, and an information gathering exercise that included expert workshops, individual and group interviews, and site visits. Recommendations range from continuing support to some of the existing services such as the home visitor scheme and lunch clubs, to developing a more comprehensive approach by appointing a champion for the promotion of social inclusion; mapping loneliness hotspots; promoting digital inclusion; and adopting a partnership approach to ensure an integrated response to isolation across the whole borough.

This report is based on an investigation of issues of social isolation and loneliness within Milton Keynes unitary authority area. However, we hope that the recommendations and the resources from this research would be useful for other communities, towns and cities, who may also be facing the challenges of supporting an ageing population.

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