Ageing Better: Working with older people to reduce social isolation and loneliness: A guide for Housing Associations

Ageing Better- Working with older people to reduce social isolation cover

This short guide by Age Better in Sheffield, in partnership with South Yorkshire Housing Association, aims to set out practical evidence about what has worked in reducing social isolation and loneliness amongst older people; drawing on lessons from some of the 14 partners who are delivering projects as part of the Ageing Better programme. 

This programme is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and is a six-year, £78 million investment, that seeks to improve the lives of people aged 50 and over, and the design of future work in this area by testing new services to reduce social isolation and loneliness and sharing evidence of findings. We look forward to collaborating with SYHA and partners on developing a networked approach to sharing the learning.

The guide and summary of learning look specifically at the housing sector. It identified 5 themes that have wider applicability to the design of any programmes seeking to reduce loneliness and isolation across all age groups, and the range of recommendations include how Housing Associations and other organisations working in the housing sector should:

  1. Consider how they can strengthen their strategic and operational roles in addressing social isolation and loneliness within their communities.
  2. Better understand the local areas they operate in: starting by mapping out key target areas where older people are at highest risk of loneliness and social isolation can help to prioritise scarce resources.
  3. Utilise their key assets in communities where large numbers of older people at high risk of loneliness and isolation live.
  4. Help address loneliness and isolation by developing and sharing their expertise in co-production to benefit local communities
  5. Consider further work with care homes for more long-term work to address loneliness and isolation