This Peer Review discussed projects, measures and strategies for tackling social isolation, loneliness and social exclusion in older age.
Older people experiencing social isolation, loneliness and social exclusion are on the rise across Europe and need coordinated support. The Peer Review compared national, regional and local approaches to develop social inclusion strategies as well as practices, studies and experiences in ten countries.
The German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth hosted experts from Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands and Romania. In addition, representatives of the European Commission and NGOs, and thematic experts put the topic in the wider context of EU policy.
Roughly 30 million people state being frequently lonely, and around 75 million people report being frequently socially isolated, meeting with friends or family at most once a month. Levels of loneliness and social isolation depend on various factors, such as individuals’ socio-economic and demographic characteristics, and social and environmental factors.
In Germany, 13 million baby boomers (currently 27% of the workforce) will be leaving the labour market between 2018 and 2031, and thus developing a higher risk of social exclusion and social isolation. Social isolation is common among people over 80, often because of a divorce or the death of a partner, friends or family, or reduced mobility.