As gerontology nurses are we prepared for New Zealand's looming loneliness crisis?
2018 Gerontology Nursing Conference
1 October 2018 - Auckland
SAVE THE DATE - More information to follow
‘Loneliness epidemic’ set to become a public health crisis
The above is an actual headline. One of hundreds indicating a problem that has gone beyond being solely a matter of social isolation.
Loneliness has become a 21st Century killer.
The evidence is overwhelming: a lonely person is significantly more likely to suffer an early death than an individual who is not lonely by anywhere from 30% to 60%. A long list of additional, and ongoing, health problems is now part of the loneliness epidemiology.
Little wonder that forecasts indicate the problem will be more critical, and more taxing on health resources, than smoking or obesity.
Simply put: wherever there are people involved there is the potential for loneliness to take hold. This includes older people in retirement communities and rest homes where, with so many people around, loneliness seemingly shouldn’t exist.
Looking after the health and wellbeing of older people in your care is a nurse’s over-arching responsibility. So when a particular ‘problem’ erupts into a full-blown crisis people at the front line of protection, such as nurses, need to be ready.
Are you and is the sector? The 2018 Gerontology Nursing Conference is a call to action in making nurses aware of the challenges that lie ahead as well as giving you the tools to make a difference.
It is designed to help professionals identify, understand and then deal with this complex problem and the risks it poses for older people – whether in residential aged care settings or in the wider community. Your input is welcomed. The focus will be on knowledge sharing and providing practical pathways to prepare people for what lies ahead.
We are currently developing the full agenda and finalising speakers, to ensure this continues to be a ‘must attend’ event.
In the meantime, save the date in your calendar - 1 October 2018 (fittingly the International Day for Older People). Keep a look out to register for the early bird rate!