Lonely Deaths among Elderly People in the Aging Korean Society: Risk Factors and Prevention Strategies

고령화 한국사회의 노인 고독사: 위험요인과 예방전략

  • 김혜성 (강남대학교 사회복지학부)
  • Received : 2017.06.29
  • Accepted : 2017.07.17
  • Published : 2017.08.28


The purpose of this study was to explore the lonely-death phenomenon and to understand the circumstances surrounding the lonely-death cases among elderly people by examining the articles on such phenomenon and the media reports of such cases. The cases of lonely death reported from 2007 to 2017 were used. Case analysis was conducted, and the news articles that described the lonely death cases were identified using an internet search engine. Forty seven cases were analyzed. Several risk factors emerged from the data obtained, such as economic hardship, chronic illness, mental health problems like alcohol addiction, social isolation, disconnection from family members or the neighborhood, unemployment, single household, unmarried or divorced status, and living in an urban area. Based on the findings, prevention strategies were addressed.


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