April 11, 2023

Does old equal lonely in Sweden?

The NEAR Principal Investigators, Ingmar Skoog and Carin Lennartsson participated in the Swedish radio program “Kropp & Själ” in P1. In this program, they discussed loneliness in old age in Sweden.

Picture of Carin Lennartsson and Ingmar Skoog

“It is a myth that older adults are more lonely in Sweden than in other countries”, says Ingmar Skoog Professor of Psychiatry.

Studies show that older people around the Mediterranean, such as in Italy and Spain, experience more involuntary loneliness and are also more depressed than older persons in Sweden.

“We have the most persons living alone, but we perceive loneliness the least. We often confuse social isolation and living alone”, says Associate Professor of Social Work, Lena Dahlberg.

But Sweden still has older persons who suffer from loneliness. Based on the NEAR study, SWEOLD, about 10-15% of those aged 77 years and older feel involuntary loneliness often or almost always. It is a painful feeling and a significant problem that has consequences for both personal health and society in terms of costs. Interestingly, the NEAR-based H-70 study shows loneliness has been pretty stable among older adults for 50 years.

To address involuntary loneliness, we first need to understand what we are talking about – what does loneliness look like and what can we do about it?

“We see social loneliness, emotional loneliness, and existential loneliness. These three types of suffering require different interventions and therefore we need a better understanding of what we are talking about when talking about loneliness”, says Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Carin Lennartsson.

Listen to the program here

More activities

April 8, 2024

Database Workshop Meeting in Karlskrona

On April 8-9, NEAR database managers met at Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH) in Karlskrona for a two-day workshop onsite and online. The first day started with welcoming and updating everyone about recent NEAR activities. This was followed by two well-attended presentations by Robert Thiesmeier, who discussed missing data methods, and Debora Rizzuto who presented […]

February 9, 2024

Book release: “70 is the new 50”

Ingmar Skoog’s book “70 is the new 50” discusses how aging has changed over the past 50 years. The book is based on research results from the NEAR-based H70 studies, which examine the health of different birth cohorts of 70-year-olds. The oldest cohort of 70-year-olds was born in the 20th century (1901-02 and 1906-07) and […]

November 21, 2023

Symposium at SWEAH conference in Norrköping

On November 21, NEAR attended and held a symposium at the Swedish Graduate School on Ageing and Health (SWEAH) conference in Norrköping. SWEAH is a multidisciplinary research school on aging and health, which Lund University coordinates. The theme of the conference was: “Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Sustainable Ageing” and was aimed at researchers at all levels […]