In 2010 WCHM commissioned research to identify the issues associated with older women’s social connectedness and explore how these issues impact upon older women’s health and wellbeing.
The study involved a literature review, survey and two focus groups—one with women over 65 and one with service providers who have older women as clients. Overall, the participants highlighted that the opportunity to contribute to and be valued by their communities was fundamental to feeling truly socially connected. Access to information also emerged as a key issue impacting upon older women’s social connectedness. The older women who participated in the research highlighted the difficulty in obtaining personally relevant information in a contemporary information-rich environment, while the service providers noted the difficulty in ensuring relevant and current information is accessed by older women, particularly those who are already socially isolated. The findings of this research have been presented in a final report Older Women and Social Connectedness: A Snapshot of the ACT.