Connectivity in the Elderly Years

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Issue Date
2023-12-29
Language
en
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Abstract
This study explores the role of shopping centres as crucial meeting places for independently living elderly individuals experiencing loneliness near Heusden and 's-Hertogenbosch municipalities. Emphasizing the societal shift towards 'Ageing-in-Place,' the research aims to promote elderly independence while alleviating pressure on healthcare institutions. Ten narrative interviews with lonely elderly, chosen in collaboration with the 'Alles voor Mekaar' foundation, reveal shopping centres as valuable hubs for informal conversations. However, mobility issues pose a significant barrier, limiting the universal appeal of these spaces. The findings highlight the complexity of emotional loneliness, especially after losing life partners, indicating that public spaces may not universally address diverse elderly needs. Mental health emerges as a key factor in social engagement, with positive-minded individuals showing greater willingness to connect and reduce loneliness. The study underscores the importance of mental health over physical health in elderly participation in public spaces. Recommendations include policy changes for municipalities, focusing on proximity to assistance, neighbourhood inclusion, and mobility improvement. Digital platforms are proposed to strengthen social ties. Future research should explore concrete interventions impacting mental health and assess the effectiveness of neighbourhood inclusion, considering local contexts and cultural variations. The overall goal is to foster a more inclusive and supportive environment, prioritizing mental health and reducing loneliness among the elderly.
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Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen