Background. Feeling loneliness is a prevalent phenomenon, affecting 25-50% of the population over 65 years old. The present study aimed to investigate feeling lonely in the elderly in Iran.
Methods. This review study was conducted by searching the keywords elderly, loneliness, isolation, elderly, old age, older people, and feeling loneliness. We retrieved all published cross-sectional articles in Persian and English languages from 2006 to 2021. Evaluation of the quality of the studies and data extraction was done by reading the full texts of the selected articles, using the STROBE Checklists for cross-sectional studies. Articles that had the required quality were included in the study.
Results. In this research, 128 articles were found in the initial review. A total of 26 articles were included in the study after preliminary reviews. According to the studies, the average score of loneliness in the elderly was high. Also, due to the lack of social relations, the average score of loneliness in the elderly staying in nursing homes and far from their families was higher than the elderly living in the family. Conclusion. The average loneliness score among the elderly, especially those living in nursing homes, was relatively high. Creating the necessary conditions to maintain social relationships among the elderly can reduce their level of loneliness and prevent the adverse consequences of loneliness in them.
Practical Implications. Considering the importance of improving the mental health of the elderly, it is recommended to strengthen the counseling of the elderly, reduce treatment costs, and also involve the elderly in daily activities and talk with a group of friends to reduce their loneliness. The results of this research can be used to improve the level of awareness of policymakers, people, and families and increase the mental health of the elderly.