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Two new reports from Connect Hackney are aimed at increasing our understanding of how older people in the borough can best keep up social links and friendships.
Community Conversations - Social Connections As We Age draws heavily on the experience of hundreds of Hackney over 50s who took part in a series of focus group discussions organised by local community groups and an online survey.
Older people told us what made maintaining social connections more or less difficult and what they thought could change to make it easier to make and sustain friendships. The research will feed into the next stage of Connect Hackney's work to prevent loneliness and isolation among older people in the borough.
The second report, Profile of Social Isolation Among Older People in Hackney, pulls together existing research, local statistics – including data from the 2011 census – and insights from local organisations and professionals who work with older people, as well as the views of over 50s themselves.
It looks at the risk factors that can affect different sections of the population as we age, making loneliness and social isolation more likely. But the report also looks at the positive side of the equation, identifying the things that can help to bring people together and maintain or develop lasting friendships.
Connect Hackney programme director Lola Akindoyin said: "We are publishing these reports because they will help build a wider understanding of how loneliness and isolation affect older people locally – and the things that can help people stay connected and active in our community.
"I would like to give special thanks to the more than 300 older people who gave us their views and ideas.
"What they had to say has been extremely useful as we plan the next stage of our work. We hope that by sharing these two reports we can ensure other organisations and services can gain from the insight and experience of Hackney over 50s too."
Older people take part in one of the Connect Hackney "community conversations", organised by Friends of Woodberry Down.