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Barcelona Council Launches A Program To Detect Unwanted Loneliness In The Elderly

The Department of Equality and Social Sustainability of the Diputación de Barcelona (DIBA) has launched a pilot program to detect and address the unwanted loneliness of older people through home visits to people who live alone to assess their personal situation, emotional and social, and identify needs.

The objective is to know and accompany older people who live alone and who are in a situation of social isolation or unwanted loneliness and link them to community resources based on an individualized work plan and the involvement of social services, entities and other community agents, the corporation explained this Monday.

Pilot test
The pilot program has been launched in the municipalities of Igualada (Anoia), Mataró (Maresme), Viladecans (Baix Llobregat) and in the 12 towns of the Mancomunidad La Plana (Osona) and in September it will also reach the municipalities of Olivella and Canyelles (Garraf).

The initiative will last until the month of November and is expected to allow the accompaniment of some 250 elderly people from these towns.

The program, which is called ” Nexos, attention to the unwanted loneliness of the elderly “, consists of making home visits to people who live alone, over 65 years derived from basic social services or other devices, as well such as those over 75 who also live alone and are not users of social services.

In these visits, professionals from the social field will assess the personal, emotional and social situation, and will identify the needs, capacities and interests of each person, and the relationship with their environment, with the aim of developing an accompaniment plan, in coordination with the municipal social services, and with the participation of social entities and other agents of the environment.

According to the latest Continuous Household Survey, of 2019, in Catalonia there were a total of 786,000 people who lived alone , of which 334,000 (42.2% of the total) were 65 years or older, and the majority were women.

Although the fact of living alone does not mean that they have a feeling of loneliness, the Provincial Council has recalled that the survey of Loneliness and risk of social isolation in the elderly of La Caixa (2019) indicates that 39.8% of the people of more than 65 years old presented emotional loneliness and 29.1% social loneliness.

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