Article of the month November

A Social Model of Loneliness: The Roles of Disability, Social Resources, and Cognitive Impairment.

Burholt V, Windle G, Morgan DJ; CFAS Wales team.

Gerontologist. 2017 Nov 10;57(6):1020-1030. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnw125.

Published in The Gerontologist, this article draws on cognitive discrepancy theory to hypothesise a pathway from disability to loneliness in later life, whilst taking into account the mediating and moderating effects of the social environment and cognitive impairment. A model is drawn up based on cross-sectional data from a sample of 3,314 participants living in Wales. Whilst focusing on older individuals in general, this paper still holds important implications for dementia. E.g., cognitive impairment ws shown to have a greater effect on social resources than disability. The authors end by mentioning several strategies to alleviate loneliness and highlight the importance of dementia friendly communities in this context.