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  • Author or Editor: Olivia Sagan x
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This paper reflects on a pilot study exploring the loneliness experiences of stroke survivors living in remote rural communities in Scotland. Empirical evidence gathered at the time of establishing this study demonstrated that there were no studies published around the subjective experiences of stroke survivors living alone in remote rural Scottish communities. Yet, stroke survivors in rural settings in other parts of the world report a longing for social contact as well as the experience of a reduction in participation in shared activities, suggestive of potential loneliness and isolation. This paper focuses on our experience interviewing one participant recruited in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the pandemic, the study had to be terminated, but we were left with data gathered from this one conversation which revealed a rich narrative centred around past and present occupations. At no point was there any sense of loneliness expressed, despite the context within which this participant lived: alone, in a remote community, experiencing a degree of communication difficulties and unable to leave the house independently. All commonly hallmark ‘warning signs’ of a person at risk of loneliness. In this reflection we offer perspectives on assumptions and expectations of loneliness that are problematically constructed by the dominant narratives and theories at the time.

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