The purpose of this paper is to highlight the importance of integration in tackling isolation in later life, propose institutions as a key factor in forming intergenerational friendships, and assess the key conditions which need to be established.
Assessment based on work on social contact theory by Professor Miles Hewstone, amongst others, as well as case studies, research from Age UK and the Social Integration Commission.
Isolation can be seen as part of the broader issue of a failure of social integration. A lack of integration in earlier life results in networks which are not age-diverse. This results in isolation in later life. Institutions are key in preventing this, as they allow for the formation of intergenerational friendships and trust.
Based on an article by the author (www.demos.co.uk/publications/mapping integration), age-specific integration is reviewed, and supplementary research considered.
Yates, J. (2015), "Addressing isolation: the importance of integration and the role of institutions", Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 58-61. https://doi.org/10.1108/QAOA-11-2014-0039
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