Listen: Sue King in conversation with Stephen O’Doherty.
New research from Anglicare shows that poor single households are especially vulnerable to social isolation and loneliness. Particularly at risk are females, the elderly, people with a disability and people in the private rental market.
Their disconnection from community and social networks impacts their physical and mental health. It can also adversely affect the entire local community.
Social isolation occurs when people become increasingly disconnected from important social networks. Living alone and experiencing significant disadvantage heightens the experience of social isolation, which can lead to adverse health and wellbeing outcomes.
The research report from Anglicare, ‘Going It Alone – A Study of Lone Person Households, Social Isolation and Disadvantage in Sydney (2018)’ examines the wide impact of isolation and loneliness.
The study uses data from the National Census and from people who access the Anglicare Food and Financial Assistance service. Sue King, Anglicare’s Director of Policy and Research, explained on Open House that what emerges from the study is a compelling picture.
Going it alone while experiencing poverty creates creates a lot of challenges. Thriving social networks make for better communities. However, if you feel lonely and isolated and are constantly worrying about money, it is much harder to maintain or develop those links. That’s how people end up lonely and socially isolated.
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In Detroit in the United States, Chris Lambert, enlisted people to lend a hand in the physical work of restoring abandoned and neglected neighbourhoods. That process helped build happier more connected communities.
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