Longitudinal studies of loneliness among older people

The world is facing a major public health challenge as the proportion of the people aged 65 or older in the world increases due to rising life expectancy and improved healthcare services. Loneliness is an important indicator of health and well-being, and it is considered as a serious social and public health problem among elderly people.

Loneliness is a complex concept, which is associated with a wide range of demographic (e.g., age, gender, marital status), social (family contact, interests, friendship), economic (financial situation), and physical and mental health factors.

We will conduct our longitudinal analysis of the factors related to loneliness within the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). ELSA is a nationally representative, longitudinal study of the people aged 50 years or more living in England. Our study will be performed using the ELSA data from 7 biennial (two-year) waves conducted from 2002 to 2015.

Our studies will focus on the following research issues:

  • How old people experience feelings of loneliness for each ELSA wave?
  • How the loneliness changes over time during the 14 years of the study?
  • What factors are associated with the loneliness and how they affect differently on the loneliness prediction.
  • What reason cause loneliness changes over time (e.g., always lonely, became lonely, stopped being lonely, never lonely, and variable lonely)