European Commission

Cultural Heritage and Older Adults’ Loneliness and Health

Loneliness is widely recognized as a public health issue often affecting the elderly. The way one experiences loneliness, researchers have argued, is dependent on a variety of environmental factors, including cultural norms and understandings. In the technical report “Loneliness and health of older adults: The role of cultural heritage and relationship quality”, The European Commission’s science and knowledge service, the Joint Research Centre, focuses on the self-perceived loneliness of second-generation immigrants aged 50+ and its impact on mental and physical health. Containing widespread current and retrospective information on respondents’ health and demographic background, SHARE is the study’s main data source. Using data from SHARE Waves 5 to 8, the report links maternal cultural background to perceived quality of relationships and loneliness. Further, loneliness, is found to influence one’s general health status.