Loneliness and boredom in residential care

Voices of older adults


  • Myunik Panthi University of Otago




Boredom, Loneliness, Older Adults, Phenomenology, Residential care


OBJECTIVES: Older adults are more likely to experience loneliness and boredom in residential care. The purpose of this study is to extend the understanding of experiences of older adults in residential care and identify factors that residents believe contribute to loneliness and boredom. In addition, I aim to identify strategies used to cope with these experiences and provide recommendations to enhance the quality of life in residential care. 

METHODS: A phenomenological qualitative study was conducted through participant observation, in-depth interviews with 24 residents, and key informant interviews with 10 staff members. 

RESULTS: The findings emphasise the pervasiveness of loneliness and boredom despite facilities’ efforts to provide activities and support. Staff and family support helped to alleviate loneliness and boredom and participants employed individual coping strategies. 

DISCUSSION: Health professionals should recognise loneliness and boredom as issues in residential care and prioritise individual needs and preferences when designing activities. 



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How to Cite

Panthi, M. (2022). Loneliness and boredom in residential care: Voices of older adults. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 34(1), 88–99. https://doi.org/10.11157/anzswj-vol34iss1id846



Original Articles