Some 14–17% of adults over 65 are lonely. Social isolation and the subjective experience of loneliness can increase the risk of poor health outcomes, including anxiety, depression, suicide, sleep problems and premature mortality. Cohousing is a form of grouped housing designed and managed by those who reside within it. We consider whether this approach may have beneficial effects in alleviating or protecting from loneliness in older people. This is part one of a two-part article.
Professionals in health and social care assess mental capacity for various decisions. This is described as a basic competence common to all professionals, but not all such assessments need professionals to make this judgement. There is a need for further training of all staff to competently assess mental capacity and make appropriate decisions.