.

  • Written by Alan Morris, Research Professor, University of Technology Sydney
People living in private rental housing were much more likely than social housing residents to say they felt lonely. Dundanim/Shutterstock

Loneliness is increasingly recognised worldwide as a critical social issue and one of the major health hazards of our time. Our research shows older private renters are at high risk of loneliness and anxiety. This is a growing concern as more Australians are renting housing later in life. By contrast, only a small proportion of the social housing tenants we interviewed said they were lonely.

The links between housing arrangements and loneliness could have profound implications for our health. As former US surgeon general Vivek H. Murthy said:

The reduction in life span [for people experiencing loneliness] is similar to that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and it’s greater than the impact on life span of obesity … Look even deeper, and you’ll find loneliness is associated with a greater risk of heart disease, depression, anxiety and dementia.


Baca juga: Why secure and affordable housing is an increasing worry for age pensioners


What causes loneliness?

The causes of loneliness are multifaceted and complex. The number of people living alone in Australia is clearly a factor. In 2016, just under one in four households (24.4%) were single-person households. That’s up from one in five in 1991.


Baca juga: One in four Australians are lonely, which affects their physical and mental health


Research suggests low-income individuals are more likely to experience loneliness. So, too, are people who have a serious mental or physical health condition or have had a serious disruptive event (financial or job loss, illness or injury, or relationship breakdown) in the last couple of years.

The impact of housing tenure on loneliness has received little attention. While recognising that there are no definite associations, we interviewed about 80 older (65-plus) private renters and social housing tenants who depended on the Age Pension for their income. These in-depth interviews indicated that their housing tenure was a critical factor in their risk of experiencing loneliness.


Baca juga: When falling home ownership and ageing baby boomers collide


Many older private renters are lonely

Many older private renters have little disposal income, because the cost of housing uses up much of their income. They also live with the constant possibility that they may be asked to vacate their accommodation. Their limited budgets mean they often end up living in a poorly located property. These features, individually or in combination, create fertile ground for anxiety and loneliness.

Their dire financial situation was often an obstacle to social activities. One interviewee told of how she had to choose between food or breaking her isolation by using public transport.

Well, you sort of think what you can do with $2.50. That’s a loaf of bread type of thing. – Beverley *

A 72-year-old woman living by herself said she could not afford the outings organised by her church.

There’s quite an active social club at the church for over-55s but I can’t go to any of those … Sometimes I think it would be nice to go on something that appeals to me, yes. And they might have an afternoon at somebody’s home and you’re asked to bring a plate [of food]. You see, I couldn’t afford to do that.

Peter, 67 and divorced, had left the workforce prematurely due to ill-health.

I’ve become very isolated. I used to, before I had the hip operation, I used to play tennis and I loved to play tennis … but I really can’t afford it. I’ve found a few clubs that I could go and play in. I’d like to get back to it, but they say, ‘Ah, the fees are this and you pay it annually,’ and I can’t come up with $150 or $200 or whatever.

Lack of money and insecure tenure were sources of enormous distress and anxiety, which further discouraged social contact. Brigette (67) was brutally honest:

You do get depressed and I believe that’s why people suicide … And there have been times when I’ve thought, what is the point to life? I really have thought this can’t go on, you know … I feel sorry for people because it is hard, and once you stay in it’s like crawling out of a slime pit … I have to say, ‘Get up and go out, go up the shops … Pretend you need potatoes or something.’

Not all of the private renters interviewed experienced loneliness. These interviewees usually had strong family ties or had managed to find affordable and secure accommodation.


Baca juga: Many people feel lonely in the city, but perhaps 'third places' can help with that


Social housing tenants feel less isolated

In sharp contrast, only a small proportion of the social housing tenants interviewed said they were lonely. Almost all were adamant they did not experience loneliness and felt they had strong social ties. Their affordable rent, security of tenure, long-term residence and having neighbours in a similar position meant they could socialise and were not beset by anxiety.

An 85-year-old long-established social housing tenant’s response to the question about loneliness and isolation was typical:

I do like it around here. I know where everything is and I know all the people, especially around these units you know. I know everyone and they know me. I like it around here. This is my home, you know. This is a community, I think. Like I know all the people and we’ve become really good friends. I couldn’t think of being anywhere else. – Kay

Pam, who had been a private renter before being allocated social housing, reflected on how her life had changed:

Well, it is changed because I’m happier and I think I’m healthier and I have a lot of new friends. I also have a lot more people around me for support if anything does happen. If I get sick and if they don’t see me for a few days someone will come and say, ‘Pam, are you OK?’ In private housing there was nobody.

The residualisation of social housing meant some tenants were living in what they perceived to be unbearable conditions. However, they generally were able to deal with their situation. Patricia coped with her very challenging neighbours by going to the local community centre.

No, I hate it [public housing]. I live here [at the community centre] every day. Yes, I’m on the committee here and I do things every day. This is my home, my family. Everybody is friendly with everybody. We have outings and things.

What the interviews indicate is that the housing tenure of age pensioners often plays a fundamental role in whether they are able to escape the experience of loneliness. Older private renters are far more likely to experience loneliness than their counterparts in social housing and that loneliness can be acute.

* All the names used are pseudonyms.


Baca juga: Designing cities to counter loneliness? Let's explore the possibilities


Alan Morris is a member of the Greens.

Andrea Verdasco tidak bekerja, menjadi konsultan, memiliki saham, atau menerima dana dari perusahaan atau organisasi mana pun yang akan mengambil untung dari artikel ini, dan telah mengungkapkan bahwa ia tidak memiliki afiliasi selain yang telah disebut di atas.

Authors: Alan Morris, Research Professor, University of Technology Sydney

Read more http://theconversation.com/i-really-have-thought-this-cant-go-on-loneliness-looms-for-rising-numbers-of-older-private-renters-118046

2019 Makeup Trends

The year 2019 has brought us a lot of amazing new makeup trends that have made the process of applying makeup much more fun. Still, if we were to follow every single makeup trend out there, we would soon go bankrupt or end up with a look that doe...

Diana Smith - avatar Diana Smith

Spiritual and physical food

In many cultures there are some spiritual rules concerning foods that people are allowed to consume. And just in general, our own bodies can hint using various methods on what we should eat right now ...

News Company - avatar News Company

What to put on the road

When preparing for a road trip at the top of your list should be working out the itinerary. Gather your family together and decide on where you will go, what you will do, and what you will see. It is ...

News Company - avatar News Company

Australia's still building 4 in every 5 new houses to no more than the minimum energy standard

New housing in Australia must meet minimum energy performance requirements. We wondered how many buildings exceeded the minimum standard. What our analysis found is that four in five new houses are be...

Trivess Moore, Lecturer, RMIT University - avatar Trivess Moore, Lecturer, RMIT University

Would you eat meat grown from cells in a laboratory? Here's how it works

There is rationale for thinking about alternatives to meat. ShutterstockFor many of us, eating a meal containing meat is a normal part of daily life. But if we dig deeper, some sobering issues emerge...

Leigh Ackland, Professor in Molecular Biosciences, Deakin University - avatar Leigh Ackland, Professor in Molecular Biosciences, Deakin University

Centre-left politics: dead, in crisis, or in transition?

New Labor leader Anthony Albanese will need to negotiate the centre-left 'crisis' if he hopes to win office. AAP/Bianca de MarchiThe ALP’s defeat at the 2019 federal election was a surprise. Sho...

Rob Manwaring, Senior Lecturer, Politics and Public Policy, Flinders University - avatar Rob Manwaring, Senior Lecturer, Politics and Public Policy, Flinders University

Morrison wants to unleash economy's 'animal spirits' and foreshadows new look at industrial relations

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will lay out economic policies "to get Australians off the economic sidelines and on the field again" on Monday. Dean Lewins/AAPScott Morrison will commit to getting con...

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra - avatar Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

People who spread deepfakes think their lies reveal a deeper truth

Deepfakes make it harder for us to communicate truths to one another and reach consensus on what is real. ScreenshotThe recent viral “deepfake” video of Mark Zuckerberg declaring, “w...

Mark Andrejevic, Professor, School of Media, Film, and Journalism, Monash University - avatar Mark Andrejevic, Professor, School of Media, Film, and Journalism, Monash University

In Never Look Away we finally have a painter biopic offering insight into the creative process

Tom Schilling as Kurt Barnert – a slightly blurred facsimile of the famous German artist Gerhard Richter – in Never Look Away. Pergamon Film, Wiedemann & Berg Filmproduktion, Beta Cine...

Ted Snell, Professor, Chief Cultural Officer, Cultural Precinct, University of Western Australia - avatar Ted Snell, Professor, Chief Cultural Officer, Cultural Precinct, University of Western Australia

Dan Tehan wants a 'model code' on free speech at universities – what is it and do unis need it?

An independent review found there was no freedom of speech crisis at universities, but it recommended a model code of conduct. from shutterstock.comThe federal education minister, Dan Tehan, has calle...

Katharine Gelber, Professor of Politics and Public Policy, The University of Queensland - avatar Katharine Gelber, Professor of Politics and Public Policy, The University of Queensland

For women's sake, let's screen for depression as part of the new heart health checks

Research suggests depression is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. From shutterstock.comThe latest government statistics, released last week, show that from 2001-2016, the rate of cardiac eve...

Adrienne O'Neil, Principal Research Fellow & Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow, Deakin University - avatar Adrienne O'Neil, Principal Research Fellow & Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow, Deakin University

5 Home Decor Essentials for a Well Styled Home

Who doesn’t dream of a well-styled home? Well-styled and well-organised. If you are looking for decorating must-haves for your home, you have come to the right place. Consider this article mini-gu...

News Company - avatar News Company

Why Organic SEO Services Matter

Brands trying to build up their popularity are often curious to know how organic services can help them. Well, if you have heard of organic SEO, you’ll probably know it is a vital part of marketi...

News Company - avatar News Company

VIDEO: Michelle Grattan on the winding up of Australian Conservatives - and the government's income tax cuts

Michelle Grattan talks with University of Canberra Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation, Professor Leigh Sullivan, about the week in politics. The discussion includes Cory Bernardi anno...

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra - avatar Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Psst, Matildas: here's the best way to score at the Women's World Cup

Sam Kerr has found plenty of goal-scoring opportunities for the Matildas at this year's Women's World Cup. Guillaume Horcajuelo/EPASport science can offer some valuable insights to the teams contestin...

Mark Scanlan, Sessional Academic, Edith Cowan University - avatar Mark Scanlan, Sessional Academic, Edith Cowan University

The mighty mulga grows deep and lives long

Mark Marathon via Wikipedia, CC BY-SASign up to the Beating Around the Bush newsletter here, and suggest a plant we should cover at batb@theconversation.edu.au. Among the nearly 1,000 species of Aus...

Gregory Moore, Doctor of Botany, University of Melbourne - avatar Gregory Moore, Doctor of Botany, University of Melbourne

Need to find a good restaurant? Economics serves up some golden rules

Stay away from the tourists traps, economics tells us. Your best bet are those cozy places away from the bustle. www.shutterstock.comWhere to eat? It’s a question you’ve probably pondered ...

Lionel Page, Professor in Economics, University of Technology Sydney - avatar Lionel Page, Professor in Economics, University of Technology Sydney

Why revive a forgotten Australian classic? Oriel Gray's The Torrents remains relevant today

Celia Pacquola as Jenny Milford in The Torrents. A new production of the forgotten Australian play shows its themes are still relevant today Philip GostelowReview: The Torrents, Heath Ledger Theatre (...

Vivienne Glance, Hon Research Fellow in Poetry and Theatre studies, University of Western Australia - avatar Vivienne Glance, Hon Research Fellow in Poetry and Theatre studies, University of Western Australia

Difficult for Labor to win in 2022 using new pendulum, plus Senate and House preference flows

Unless Labor improves markedly with the lower-educated, they risk losing the seat count while winning the popular vote at the next election. AAP/Dan PeledAustralian elections have been won in outer ...

Adrian Beaumont, Honorary Associate, School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Melbourne - avatar Adrian Beaumont, Honorary Associate, School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Melbourne

LifeStyle

How to Revolutionize Your Beauty Experience

Being concerned with beauty and cosmetics used to mean frequent visits to the salon and sitting in...

8 Cool Yet Romantic Things to do in Australia

Australia is a wonderful place for vacationing this summer and you can beat the heat as they have ...

How to Banish Dark Circles without the Need for Cucumber Slices

Dark circles can be downright annoying, especially when you are getting enough sleep. So, what cau...

Innovation and Future Trends in the Beauty Industry

  When medicine, tech, and beauty join forces, there’s no stopping the innovative solutions th...