The last period of older people's life is often associated with health problems and reduced ability to care for themselves. As a result, older people are forced to move to a home for the elderly. Moving a person to an institution can cause a lot of stress and also a reduction of their primary social network.
The emergence of loneliness among the elderly is already an extensive problem in modern society. Through my research, I tried to find out what the social networks of people living in a nursing home are and what the level of loneliness is among them.
The research included residents of the Center for the Elderly Notranje Gorice and focused on those residents who have very little contact with their relatives or have no contact at all. In addition to the topics mentioned above, I have researched what the concept of loneliness represents to older people, how they can help reduce it on their own, and how they help them deal with distress. I also paid attention to their attitude towards volunteering.
My research shows that the largest part of their social network is represented by employees since visits of relatives and friends are very rare. The level of loneliness among the interviewed residents is low and, in the event of distress, they help each other in different ways. They associate loneliness with the lack of support and company of other people. Because self-help groups play an important role in reducing loneliness, I also researched how many residents know these groups. It turned out that despite the fact that the group is organized in their home, most residents do not know it. They think that volunteering is an effective way of reducing loneliness and preventing the exclusion of the elderly. Although volunteering is included in their home, most of them do not have experience with volunteers.