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      Intergroup ‘Skype’ Quiz Sessions in Care Homes to Reduce Loneliness and Social Isolation in Older People

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          Abstract

          Video calls using software such as Skype, Zoom and FaceTime can improve socialisation among older people and family, however it is unknown if video calls are able to improve socialisation among older people and their peers. Twenty-two residents across three British care homes engaged with each other using ‘Skype quiz’ sessions with the support of staff once a month over an eight-month trial. Video calls were accessed via a ‘Skype on Wheels’ intervention that comprised a wheeled device that could hold an iPad, or through Skype TV. Residents met other residents from the three care homes to build new friendships and participate in a thirty-minute quiz session facilitated by eight staff. Staff were collaborators who recruited older people, implemented the intervention and provided feedback that was analysed using thematic analysis. Residents enjoyed being able to see other residents’ faces and surroundings. Analysis of the field notes revealed five themes of: residents with dementia remember faces not technology, inter and intra connectedness, re-gaining sense of self and purpose, situational loneliness overcome and organisational issues create barriers to long-term implementation. Inter-care home connection through video calls to reduce feelings of loneliness in residents seems acceptable and a feasible, low cost model, especially during times of public crisis such as COVID-19.

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          Most cited references47

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          Loneliness and social isolation as risk factors for mortality: a meta-analytic review.

          Actual and perceived social isolation are both associated with increased risk for early mortality. In this meta-analytic review, our objective is to establish the overall and relative magnitude of social isolation and loneliness and to examine possible moderators. We conducted a literature search of studies (January 1980 to February 2014) using MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Social Work Abstracts, and Google Scholar. The included studies provided quantitative data on mortality as affected by loneliness, social isolation, or living alone. Across studies in which several possible confounds were statistically controlled for, the weighted average effect sizes were as follows: social isolation odds ratio (OR) = 1.29, loneliness OR = 1.26, and living alone OR = 1.32, corresponding to an average of 29%, 26%, and 32% increased likelihood of mortality, respectively. We found no differences between measures of objective and subjective social isolation. Results remain consistent across gender, length of follow-up, and world region, but initial health status has an influence on the findings. Results also differ across participant age, with social deficits being more predictive of death in samples with an average age younger than 65 years. Overall, the influence of both objective and subjective social isolation on risk for mortality is comparable with well-established risk factors for mortality.
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            Loneliness, health, and mortality in old age: a national longitudinal study.

            This study examined the relationship between loneliness, health, and mortality using a U.S. nationally representative sample of 2101 adults aged 50 years and over from the 2002 to 2008 waves of the Health and Retirement Study. We estimated the effect of loneliness at one point on mortality over the subsequent six years, and investigated social relationships, health behaviors, and health outcomes as potential mechanisms through which loneliness affects mortality risk among older Americans. We operationalized health outcomes as depressive symptoms, self-rated health, and functional limitations, and we conceptualized the relationships between loneliness and each health outcome as reciprocal and dynamic. We found that feelings of loneliness were associated with increased mortality risk over a 6-year period, and that this effect was not explained by social relationships or health behaviors but was modestly explained by health outcomes. In cross-lagged panel models that tested the reciprocal prospective effects of loneliness and health, loneliness both affected and was affected by depressive symptoms and functional limitations over time, and had marginal effects on later self-rated health. These population-based data contribute to a growing literature indicating that loneliness is a risk factor for morbidity and mortality and point to potential mechanisms through which this process works. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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              An active and socially integrated lifestyle in late life might protect against dementia.

              The recent availability of longitudinal data on the possible association of different lifestyles with dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD) allow some preliminary conclusions on this topic. This review systematically analyses the published longitudinal studies exploring the effect of social network, physical leisure, and non-physical activity on cognition and dementia and then summarises the current evidence taking into account the limitations of the studies and the biological plausibility. For all three lifestyle components (social, mental, and physical), a beneficial effect on cognition and a protective effect against dementia are suggested. The three components seem to have common pathways, rather than specific mechanisms, which might converge within three major aetiological hypotheses for dementia and AD: the cognitive reserve hypothesis, the vascular hypothesis, and the stress hypothesis. Taking into account the accumulated evidence and the biological plausibility of these hypotheses, we conclude that an active and socially integrated lifestyle in late life protects against dementia and AD. Further research is necessary to better define the mechanisms of these associations and better delineate preventive and therapeutic strategies.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Geriatrics (Basel)
                Geriatrics (Basel)
                geriatrics
                Geriatrics
                MDPI
                2308-3417
                11 November 2020
                December 2020
                : 5
                : 4
                : 90
                Affiliations
                [1 ]School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Plymouth, Plymouth PL4 8AA, UK
                [2 ]Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA, UK; Catherine.hennessy@ 123456stir.ac.uk
                [3 ]Peninsula Medical School, University of Plymouth, Plymouth PL4 8AA, UK; Adrian.Taylor@ 123456plymouth.ac.uk
                [4 ]Centre for Health Technology, University of Plymouth, Plymouth PL4 8AA, UK; Ray.Jones@ 123456plymouth.ac.uk
                Author notes
                Author information
                https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7339-6454
                https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2701-9468
                https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2963-3421
                Article
                geriatrics-05-00090
                10.3390/geriatrics5040090
                7709588
                33187242
                3f2abf07-26a1-46e0-ab89-bbe63b20b9dc
                © 2020 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                History
                : 31 August 2020
                : 09 November 2020
                Categories
                Article

                video calls,socialisation,action research,care-settings,skype,intervention,loneliness,geriatrics,communication

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