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LONELINESS OF OLD PEOPLE IN POLAND – SALE, SYMPTOMS AND WAYS OF SOLVING PROBLEM

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Author(s): Pawel Kubicki | Marta Olcon-Kubicka

Journal: Studia Humanistyczne AGH
ISSN 1732-2189

Volume: 8;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 129;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: elderly people | loneliness | social policy

ABSTRACT
The text discusses results of a research conducted on behalf of ‘I-Woman’ Foundation (Fundacja Ja Kobieta) on the elderly people loneliness phenomenon. The aim of the research was to determine the scale of said phenomenon and partially of social exclusion of the elderly, factors infl uencing the probability of the problem’s occurrence as well as counter-measures possible to apply on both personal and institutional level. The initial phase of the research consisted of 11 individual in-depth interviews (IDI). The most important part of the project involved quantitative research carried out on a nationwide, random, representative group of a thousand 65 years-old-people. This research was done through CATI interviews. The results were discussed during two focus group interviews (FGI). The aim of the interviews was to check the point of view of potential carers and people fi ghting with elderly people’s loneliness. Almost 20% of the Polish elderly can be considered lonely – they declare that often (10%) or always (7%) feel lonely. Almost half of the surveyed (47%) admitted never feeling lonely. The factors infl uencing the feeling of loneliness include: gender, age, education, marital status, source of income, place of living. Factors that increase the level of loneliness include lack of self-reliance and no possibilities of getting support in dealing with one’sdiffi cult situation. Family and relatives are the key factors in fi ghting with social exclusion. Friends and acquaintances are also important since they are often the only support of an elderly person. Local social policy should create suitable conditions for social integration of the elderly into the local community and limiting architectural barriers is one of the important elements of such a process. The fate of non self-reliant people depends on institutional solutions.
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