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Abstract

This study investigates experiences of recent adverse and positive life events, and how these impact lonely older adults. Qualitative individual interviews were con- ducted with 53 community-dwelling, lonely older people aged 60 years and over. Analyses identified four key findings. First, the results pointed to a variety of recent life events in different domains (i.e., health, financial status, social network, living situation and meaningful use of time), which are experienced subjectively by par- ticipants. Second, life events occur at micro-biographical, meso-institutional, and macro-societal levels. Third, recent life events can signal gradual transitions or can constitute a breaking point. Fourth, while lonely older adults experience different recent adverse life events related to loss experiences, they also experience differ- ent positive recent life events, which might have the potential to increase their well- being or reduce feelings of loneliness. Finally, recent life events can have (cumula- tive) effects on their well-being. The conclusions highlight the need for an in-depth understanding of life events experienced in later life, given their potential role as balancing factors in the well-being of lonely older adults, as well as providing some implications for practice and policy.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalAgeing International
Volume2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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