Loneliness of Older Persons in Home Care In Iceland

GH Blængsdóttir, T Aspelund, PV Jónsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: to explore the association between loneliness and affective, cognitive, physical and social factors for older persons in home care. Design: descriptive cross sectional study. Setting: random sample of home care clients in Reykjavik area. Subjects: 257 individuals were assessed with the Minimum Data Set for Home Care (InterRAI- HC) instrument. Results: 20.3% of home care clients expressed loneliness, 18.3% of men and 20.9% of women with widowed persons being more likely to be lonely than married persons, p=0.013, as were they who assessed their health as being poor, p=0.042 . Women with cognitive impairment were more likely to be lonely, p=0.022 and they were more likely to have depressive symptoms, p=0.025. Women who took more than six medications were more likely to be lonely (79.2% vs. 20.8%, p=0.018). Lonely women took more neuroleptics (p=0.007) but lonely males more hypnotics (p=0.046). Lonely women agreed more with the statement that they would be better of elsewhere (43.5% vs. 12.7%, p<0.0001). Being mostly indoors was not associated with loneliness and there was no association with use of formal care services. Conclusion: Loneliness was identified in one fifth of persons in home care, more often among widowed persons and women with cognitive impairment and among those who assessed their health as being poor. Sex difference was seen with regards to affective symptoms and medication use. Further studies are needed to understand how the needs of lonely persons in home care can be best met. Key words: loneliness, home care, elderly, primary, health care
Original languageEnglish
JournalME-JAA Middle East Journal of Age and Ageing
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Other keywords

  • Aldraðir
  • Hjúkrunarheimili
  • Einsemd
  • Heilsugæsla
  • Aged
  • Health Services for the Aged
  • Home Care Services
  • Loneliness


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