AbstractAims and objectives.
To raise awareness of social isolation, and provide an approach to first conceptualise and then prevent social isolation among older community-dwelling persons.Background.
Older adults comprise a vulnerable population for social isolation and its associated health risks.Design.
Canada’s Population Health Promotion Model was chosen as a comprehensive tool to understand and prevent social isolation. Research studies were sought to identify key health determinants and evidence-based options for preventing social isolation.Results.
Around 1 out of 6 older persons are socially isolated and three health determinants are of prime importance: (i) income and social status; (ii) personal health practices and coping skills and (iii) social support networks. Evidence-based interventions targeted to these health determinants are suggested.Conclusion.
Nurses are a key group to advocate for actions needed to prevent social isolation.Implications for practice.
Nurses can play a vital role in minimising social isolation through a variety of educational, prevention and political lobbying activities.