REPORT: Older Men at the Margins Project

In collaboration with Age UK, the Older Men at the Margins project identified ways of alleviating loneliness and reducing isolation for older men (65+ years of age) across hard-to-reach and seldom-heard groups. This included older men who  are single or living alone in urban and  rural areas; older gay men who are  single or living alone; older men with hearing loss; and older men who are  carers for significant others (family members, partners).

Between 2017 and 2018, 111 men (6595 years of age) from the above groups across the south west and west of England took part in interviews and shared their experiences of combatting loneliness and social isolation in later life. The overall aim was to better understand the ways in which marginalised or seldom-heard groups of older men seek to maintain social engagement and social participation in later life.

This included participation in groups targeted at reducing loneliness and social isolation. The research identified ways in which social care and community-based services could take better account of the social wellbeing of older men. This guidance sets out the learning from the research and highlights important factors to be considered to meet the diverse needs of older men through group programmes and interventions. It will be of use to professionals and services who wish to set up groups, or who are already running groups for older people.

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