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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
Pages (from-to)194-210
Number of pages17
JournalAgeing International
Volume48
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The present study was made possible through funding of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO, FWOTM865) and the Flemish Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (Grant number IWT 140027- SBO, D-SCOPE Project).

Funding Information:
The present study was made possible through funding of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) and the Flemish Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (Grant number IWT‐140027‐SBO, D-SCOPE Project). The D-SCOPE consortium is an international research consortium composed of researchers from Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium (dr. An-Sofie Smetcoren, prof. dr. Sarah Dury, prof. dr. Liesbeth De Donder, prof. dr. Eva Dierckx, dr. Deborah Lambotte, dr. Bram Fret, dr. Daan Duppen, prof. dr. Martinus Kardol, prof. dr. Dominique Verté and Sylvia Hoens); College University Ghent, Belgium (dr. Lieve Hoeyberghs, prof. dr. Nico De Witte); Universiteit Antwerpen, Belgium (dr. Ellen De Roeck, prof. dr. Sebastiaan Engelborghs, prof. dr. Peter Paul De Deyn); Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium (dr. Michaël Van der Elst, prof. dr. Jan De Lepeleire, prof. dr. Birgitte Schoenmakers) and Maastricht University, The Netherlands (dr. Anne van der Vorst, prof. dr. Rixt Zijlstra, prof. dr. Gertrudis Kempen, prof. dr. Jos Schols).

Funding Information:
We would like to thank all the participants for their contribution and the care organizations for helping with the recruitment of the participants. The present study was made possible through funding of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) and the Flemish Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (Grant number IWT‐140027‐SBO, D-SCOPE Project). The D-SCOPE consortium is an international research consortium composed of researchers from Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium (dr. An-Sofie Smetcoren, prof. dr. Sarah Dury, prof. dr. Liesbeth De Donder, prof. dr. Eva Dierckx, dr. Deborah Lambotte, dr. Bram Fret, dr. Daan Duppen, prof. dr. Martinus Kardol, prof. dr. Dominique Verté and Sylvia Hoens); College University Ghent, Belgium (dr. Lieve Hoeyberghs, prof. dr. Nico De Witte); Universiteit Antwerpen, Belgium (dr. Ellen De Roeck, prof. dr. Sebastiaan Engelborghs, prof. dr. Peter Paul De Deyn); Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium (dr. Michaël Van der Elst, prof. dr. Jan De Lepeleire, prof. dr. Birgitte Schoenmakers) and Maastricht University, The Netherlands (dr. Anne van der Vorst, prof. dr. Rixt Zijlstra, prof. dr. Gertrudis Kempen, prof. dr. Jos Schols).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

Copyright:
Copyright 2023 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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