Loneliness among older people is a growing issue globally, even if the numbers are difficult to estimate. This is indeed the goal of the ALONE project, funded by the European Union under the Erasmus+ KA2 programme.
Loneliness is a complex concept that also involves existential dimensions which runs much deeper than social and physical loneli- ness and is described as an unavoidable condition of humanity. This means that even if other people surround you, you can experien- ce profound loneliness in its existential form.
Existential loneliness is often experienced by older persons in association with death, dying or severe illnesses, when questions about the meaning of life come to the fore. That’s why it’s a meaningful and challenging issues for health and social care professio- nals which should be trained to be able to support their clients to deal with existential loneliness in the best possible way.
ALONE will be implemented in five different European countries with the objective to educate social and health care professionals about the different dimensions of loneliness to be able to detect and recognize loneliness in all its forms among older people and to strengthen their ability to encounter loneliness in general and existential loneliness in particular.
The project is going to develop a training package for nurses and other health care professionals who currently have limited or no training in how to cope with older persons affected by existential loneliness.
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