1) Societal Factors
The lack of social cohesion or weak social network is one of the causes of social isolation.
Based on the mentioned literature review so far, elderly living alone often do not have the same support as those with family members. To overcome social isolation, the elderly are expected to be more reliance on alternative support such as friends, neighbours and social organizations. If the elderly did not have support and interaction with the friends and neighbours, it will affect their social interaction leading to isolation. There was a wave of new research which found out that social separation is not good for people. Those people with less social connection affected their sleep patterns, immune systems and increased in stress hormones. There was also a recent study that found social isolation increases the risk of heart disease by 29 percent and stroke by 32 percent. Based on these, analysis have collected data and found that socially isolated people had a 30 per cent higher risk of dying in the next seven years.
Most of the elderly become lonely due to different reasons, some could be due to family members moving away and close friends passing away.
The experts have said it would be ideal if the neighbourhoods and communities would keep an eye on such older people. This would help to reduce social isolation. The government have also provided easy access in transportation and having discounted bus passes or special transport services to help them to maintain social connections.
The older people with their own religions are also encouraged to continue regular attendance at services. Those elderly who are capable of caring for an animal, might also enjoy the companionship of a pet. The children or grandchildren of the elderly could also ask a neighbour to help and check periodically on their parent or grandparent who lived far away from them (Khullar, 2016).