Citation Burholt V, Nash P & Phillips J (2013) The impact of supported living environments on social resources and the experience of loneliness for older widows living in Wales: An exploratory mediation analysis. Family Science, 4 (1), pp. 121-132. https://doi.org/10.1080/19424620.2013.870811
Abstract Extracare sheltered housing has been marketed in Wales as a positive housing choice in later life. This exploratory paper examines the relationship between marital status, social resources and loneliness for older people in Wales in three different settings: residential care, extracare sheltered housing and in the community. The results showed that extracare environments provided the conditions for increased social interaction, and this was particularly effective for older widows. However, there was no difference in the levels of loneliness between the three environments. Although the level of social interactions was greater in extracare settings, the exchanges did not necessarily lead to high-quality and emotionally satisfying social relationships. Older widows who talked about friends referred to those people with whom relationships had been developed outside of the facilities. The paper concludes with some implications for families and formal care providers in terms of supporting older people to maintain long-term friendships.