Social Exclusion: a need for later life perspectives?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingMeeting abstract (Book)


In Europe there is a considerable rise of the proportion people aged 65 and older. Within the EU-27 their proportion increased from 13.7% in 1990 to 17.4% in 2010. In spite of this, little research addresses social exclusion in later life. Theoretical development of social exclusion has mainly focused on (migrant) adolescents, middle-aged adults and more recently also on people with mental health problems. The few studies focussing on older people conclude that social exclusion increases with ageing, pointing to the need for later life perspectives in social exclusion research. Age-related changes such as retirement, greater risks of reduced mental health, physical limitations, loss of autonomy, loss of partner, family and friends, age-related discrimination and ageism make older people more vulnerable to social exclusion. Besides these individual changes, globalisation, social developments, digitalization and changed marital and family patterns can also affect the likelihood of older people's social exclusion. The article at hand will theoretically explore this under-researched intersection of social exclusion and later life. More precisely, this article examines, based on existing literature, different dimensions of social exclusion and what these dimensions mean in older people's life. Analysis on the data of the Belgian Ageing Studies, a large-scaled survey among approximately 73.000 older people, will illustrate this.
The discussion highlights the main research gaps in social exclusion among older adults and formulates recommendations for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Exclusion and Social Participation in Contemporary Europe, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2014
EventSocial Exclusion and Social Participation in Contemporary Europe - Kaunas, Lithuania
Duration: 21 Nov 201421 Nov 2014


ConferenceSocial Exclusion and Social Participation in Contemporary Europe


  • Social Exclusion
  • later life perspective
  • unequal ageing

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Social Exclusion: a need for later life perspectives?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this