Age discrimination, sometimes alongside other forms of discrimination, can contribute to the social isolation of older people. The risk is greater for people living alone and the very elderly, and can be increased by bereavement, loss of work or poor health. Such isolation can contribute to the incidence of mental illness, particularly depression.
Opportunities to participate in, and make a positive contribution to community and society, are integral to dignity. Maintaining contact with family and friends, participating in cultural and community activities and using skills all contribute to social inclusion. Involving older people at all levels of service planning and delivery is an important part of getting it right.