Support for BME older people avoid social isolation

A new report published by Ambition for Ageing calls for more research into the experiences of older Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people in Greater Manchester. The research’s aim is to tackle social isolation.

The report was written by researchers Dr. Camilla Lewis and Natalie Cotterell at The University of Manchester. It calls for researchers, policy-makers and service-providers to consider the challenges facing older people both now and, in the future. It also looks to consider challenges faced by their families and the communities in which they live.

Current research shows that social isolation takes on different forms according to a range of factors and may be influenced by an individual’s ethnic background.

Researcher Camilla Lewis said: “Minority ethnic groups often experience a greater number of health, economic, and social inequalities compared to white groups. Such inequalities [increases] their vulnerability to social isolation in later life.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “With the number of older people in Greater Manchester’s population rising fast, we must act now to tackle social isolation and loneliness and its impact on our physical and mental health and wellbeing.”

John Hannen, Programme Manager for Ambition for Ageing said: “This is an important report that shows us where data is missing and what work needs to be done to ensure a range of services – from the NHS to the voluntary sector – are tailored to the people who need them.”

The report recommends that further research should be carried out in order to recognise the differences between and within minority ethnic groups in relation to their experiences of social isolation.

It also suggests that involving older people from minority ethnic backgrounds in co-research projects, may provide a valuable tool for including rarely heard people in work on social isolation.

TNT Lifestyle

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