Community participation and the risks of social isolation for older adults

Author: Claire Gough

Gough, Claire, 2021 Community participation and the risks of social isolation for older adults, Flinders University, College of Nursing and Health Sciences

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The Australian population is ageing, subsequently raising the demand for supportive services, and increasing health expenditure. Older adults are at increased risk of social isolation and loneliness following events such as retirement, hospital admission and the COVID-19 global pandemic. The aim of this research was to provide a holistic picture of community participation for community dwelling older adults in times of health and vulnerability.

This thesis presents four papers published in 2021 that improve understanding of community participation and the influencing physical and social factors. This research combined innovative technologies to observe how older adults participated in society and the changes in health-related quality of life, sleep quality, social isolation, and loneliness following times of social isolation.

Findings suggest measuring community participation was feasible with community dwelling older adults using mixed methods and could inform individualised interventions and support services that overcome barriers to participation and promote healthy ageing.

Keywords: Community participation, older adults, social isolation, Global Positioning System, accelerometry, Transition care

Subject: Public Health thesis

Thesis type: Doctor of Philosophy
Completed: 2021
School: College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Supervisor: Stacey George