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Social Isolation of Older Adults

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Social Isolation of Older Adults

SKU# 9780826146984

Strategies to Bolster Health and Well-Being


  • Lenard W. Kaye DSW, PhD
  • Cliff Singer MD
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Critical strategies for confronting a dire, yet under-addressed societal epidemic—the risky and potentially deadly consequences for older adults living a socially isolated life, are the focus for this book. By documenting our current understanding of the complex and multi-dimensional nature of social isolation among elders, the authors highlight innovative and alternative forms of community and later-life relationships that can serve to forestall or prevent social isolation and loneliness.

With contributions from recognized scholars, clinicians, and elder-policy activists, as well as from multiple practice perspectives (direct service providers, administrators, researchers, and educators) the book documents the interrelated issues of social relationships and health in late life. It describes creative programs and intervention techniques that help maintain the integrity of an older adult’s individual, group, and community relations, communication pathways, and a sense of belonging. The book also illuminates multidisciplinary and integrated best practices for minimizing the risk of late life social isolation. Case studies showcase the issues that arise in clinical practice and service delivery and demonstrate proven methods for effectively addressing them.

Key Features:

  • Delivers best-practice strategies and interventions for bolstering older adult social health and community engagement
  • Written by top scholars in the gerontology community
  • Explores the life-threatening risks and consequences of social isolation for older adults and their families
  • Describes the wide range of social relationships that can determine the extent to which older adults will be at risk of becoming socially isolated
  • Considers the role that older adult diversity and difference plays in determining quality of life and the integrity of relationships
  • Highlights physical, behavioral, environmental, social, and economic forces that can influence the quality of late life relationships

Product Details 

  • Publication Date December 13, 2018
  • Page Count 305
  • Product Form Paperback / softback
  • ISBN 13 9780826146984
  • EISBN 9780826146991

Table of Contents 



PART I. Setting the Context

1. The Scourge of Social Isolation and Its Threat to Older Adult Health

Lenard W. Kaye and Clifford M. Singer

2. Historical Perspectives on the Research of Social Isolation, Loneliness, and Social Support

Mary Lou Ciolfi

3. Making the Case: The Clinical Value of Assessing Older Adults’ Social Isolation, Loneliness, and Social Relationships

Sarah Pillemer, Chelsea Schoen, and Sloane Sheldon

4. International Perspectives on Social Relationships, Social Isolation, and Well-Being Among Older Adults

Howard Litwin

PART II. Proven Strategies and Programs for Promoting Social Integration and Health

5. Friend Power—A View From the Front Lines:

The Importance of Relationships in the Lives of the Disabled, People With Dementia, and Older Adults

Hope Reiner

6. Physical Activity for Older Adults: Supporting Social Integration

Marilyn R. Gugliucci, Erica Robertson, Susan Wehry, and Shirley A. Weaver

7. Designing Age Friendly Communities as a Strategy for Enhancing Social Connectedness

Patricia Huffman Oh

8. Healthy Places and the Social Life of Older Adults

Keith Diaz Moore, Ivis Garcia, and Ja Young Kim

9. Volunteering as a Strategy for Combatting Social Isolation

Jennifer A. Crittenden

10. Using Technology to Advance Social Health

Hiroko H. Dodge

11. Spirituality and Religion in the Lives of Elders

Kenneth J. Doka

12. Involving Our Pets in Relationship Building—Pets and Elder Well-Being

Aubrey H. Fine and Erika Friedmann

PART III. Special Challenges Influencing Social Connectedness in Later Life

13. Social Networks and Social Isolation Among LGBT Older Adults

Sandra S. Butler

14. Family and Intergenerational Relationships

Donna M. Butts and Kristin Bodiford

15. Rethinking Love, Intimacy, and Sexual Relationships in the Later Years

Nicholas Velotta and Pepper Schwartz

16. The Gendered Nature of Later Life Relationships

Edward H. Thompson, Jr. and Kate de Medeiros

17. The Social Implications of Growing Old in Small Towns and Rural Communities

Kristina M. Hash, Deana F. Morrow, and Mandana R. Weirich

Appendix: Resources on Older Adult Social Isolation and Relationships

Lisa Dezso