Addressing Loneliness and Social Isolation Through Technology Professor Niall Hayes, Professor Lucas Introna, and Dr Marcia Smith - Lancaster University, UK. As the older adult population in Europe is growing steadily, especially those living in rural areas, the issue of loneliness and social isolation has become of significant concern. Loneliness broadly refers to the idea that there is â€˜no significant otherâ€™ involved in a personâ€™s life; whereas social isolation refers to the limited number of social networks available to a person. Loneliness tends to lead to a decline in physical and mental health, with strong links to obesity and depression conditions that put significant strain on our health services. Consequently, addressing it can to lead to significant socio-economic benefits that reduce the number of healthcare visits and allow older adults to live independently in their own homes for longer. Our research explores whether technology plays a role in addressing loneliness and social isolation in rural districts and, if so, how?
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