The lived experiences of socially-isolated senior women
MetadataShow full item record
Social isolation has been linked with negative health effects in senior women. The purpose of this study was to understand the lived experiences of socially-isolated senior women. Local senior-serving organizations assisted with the recruitment of six socially-isolated senior women to participate in individual qualitative interviews. Three service providers were also interviewed. Seniors’ interviews were analyzed using interpretive phenomenological analysis and service provider interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis. Three superordinate themes were derived from the senior interviews: social needs, self-perceptions of isolation and loneliness, and constraints to and facilitators of social engagement. Five superordinate themes were derived from the service provider interviews: definitions of social isolation, differences between social isolation and loneliness, gender differences in isolation and loneliness, identifying socially-isolated seniors, and essential components of initiatives aimed at reducing social isolation. The views of socially-isolated seniors are important to understand to develop programs and policies that promote healthy aging.