Identifying predictors of loneliness is important to develop interventions that help older adults residing in nursing homes reduce their loneliness, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, we examined whether leisure social support and flow (also identified as optimal experience) were predictive of loneliness, and whether age moderated the relationship between flow and loneliness. In total, 235 nursing home residents, aged 65 years or older, participated in our study. We conducted in-person surveys to measure their age, leisure social support, flow, and loneliness as well as used multiple linear regression analysis to analyze data. Results indicated that high levels of leisure social support and flow predicted low levels of loneliness. However, age decreased the negative relationship between flow and loneliness. We discuss implications of these results in terms of reducing loneliness, without depending highly on the presence of others, during times of social isolation associated with responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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