ISCOA Project Pilot Evaluation Informing Future Policy

This report draws on findings and lessons learned through the Australian Government funded evaluation of the Improving Social Connectedness of Older Australians This report will help future models of care and interventions for lonely and socially isolated older Australians.


Evaluation of the Improving Social Connectedness of Older Australians project pilot: Informing future policy considerations

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The pilot commenced in January 2019 and concluded in June 2021. However during this period, project activities were suspended for approximately six months due to the impact of COVID-19. There were also several natural disasters that occurred during this time.

Findings from this pilot are context dependent, however, useful insights have been learned. Program reach was smaller than anticipated (a total of 90 consumers received individual-level support across the two PHNs). All participants reported health-related limitations, especially pain and mobility deficits, with 39% (NBM PHN) and 61% (PS PHN) lonely at initial assessment. Evidence suggests that interventions that reduce loneliness could prevent or reduce depression in older adults (Lee et al. 2021).




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