Loneliness Among Older Adults and Proposed Strategic Program for Intervention
Akinbohun, Patricia U.
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The issue of loneliness is of great concern in the lives of the older adults. Few studies have examined the enormous impact of loneliness in the life of the older adults residing in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) in the American Midwest, as well as the programs established to alleviate loneliness. This study examined the programs that address the issues of loneliness in the life of the older adults residing in LTCF in the Midwest. Data was collected from seven LTCFs through semi-structured qualitative interviews, and was analyzed using phenomenon-based thematic analysis. Findings revealed that none of the facilities have any specific constructive strategic program to alleviate loneliness besides the use of companion animals by their residents. Conclusions from this study indicated that caregivers working with the older adults in LTCFs should embark in setting up meaningful strategic programs such as music, humor, and reminiscence therapy; social support programs; animal assisted therapy and the use of robotic companion animals; elders-helping-elders programs; recreational therapy; Information and communication technology (ICT); and Eden Alternative (AE) program, which will help in combating loneliness among the older adults.