This study examined older people’s experiences of loneliness and how these may be ameliorated through consumption practices. Interviews were conducted with 19 Australians aged 65 years and older. Most interviewees reported the use of a range of coping mechanisms to avoid experiencing distressing levels of loneliness. These included relying on regular contact with special others, engaging in extensive reading, and taking an active interest in gardening. Shopping was also identified as a means of alleviating loneliness. Several possible consumption-related strategies to reduce the experience of loneliness are suggested, such as using consumption rituals to structure social interactions and facilitating reading and gardening activities. The theoretical implications of the findings are also provided.
|Journal of Research for Consumers
|Published - 2007