Reviews in Clinical Gerontology

Review Article

Being alone in later life: loneliness, social isolation and living alone

Christina  Victor a1c1, Sasha  Scambler a1, John  Bond a2 and Ann  Bowling a3
a1 St George’s Hospital Medical School, London, UK
a2 University of Newcastle, Newcastle, UK
a3 University College, London, UK



The context for the review of loneliness and social isolation in later life is that of ‘successful aging’ and ‘quality of life’. The term ‘quality of life‘ includes a broad range of areas of life and there is little agreement about the definition of the term. Models of quality of life range from identification of ‘life satisfaction’ or ‘social wellbeing’ to models based upon concepts of independence, control, and social and cognitive competence. However, regardless of how the concept of quality of life is defined, research has consistently demonstrated the importance of social and family relationships in the definition of a ‘good quality of life’.

c1 Address for correspondence: C Victor, Department of Public Health Sciences, St. George’s Hospital Medical School, London SW17 ORE, UK.