Scientific research has demonstrated a link between increased levels of social support and reduced risk poor physical and mental health. Social support includes relationships and activities that enable a person to feel cared for, valued, and part of a network or community. Social support can be critical for older adults who rely on family, friends, or organizations to assist them with daily activities, provide companionship, and care for their well-being. 
The Older Americans Act recognized the need for social support by requiring that aging network organizations provide in-home services and group meals to foster social interactions

Loneliness among Older Adults: A National Survey of Adults 45+

August 9, 2017

The purpose of this study was to provide a better understanding of loneliness among adults age 45 and older. In addition to examining prevalence rates across and within groups of older Americans, the study provides a descriptive profile of lonely older adults and examines the relationships between loneliness and health, health behaviors, involvement in a… Read more »

Connecting the Lonely: Making a Difference in the Well-Being of Older Adults

August 9, 2017

The prevalence of social isolation, according to the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), may be as high as 43 percent among community (non-institutional) dwelling older adults. Nearly half of those aged 62-91 experience loneliness, notes an AARP Foundation study. With more older adults living alone, leaving the workforce, having friends who have moved far away… Read more »

Evaluation of the Effect of the OAA Title III-C Nutrition Services Program on Participants’ Food Security, Socialization & Diet Quality

July 13, 2017

The 2017 evaluation of the Older Americans Act (OAA) Nutrition Program for the Elderly provides results and information on the impact of the program on the participants’ food security, socialization, and diet quality. Comparisons are drawn from the previous evaluation of the program conducted in 1995. This evaluation also serves to provide insight into areas… Read more »

Expand Your Circles: Prevent Isolation and Loneliness As You Age

November 18, 2016

With record-breaking numbers of Americans not only turning age 65, but also living longer than ever before, we are seeing a corresponding spike in the number of older adults who are socially isolated and lonely. Today, nearly 30 percent of older adults in the U.S. live alone, placing them at especially high risk of this problem…. Read more »

Informing Strategies to End Senior Hunger in Native Communities

October 26, 2015

First Nations is deeply committed to assisting tribes and Native organizations in their ongoing efforts to end senior hunger. As of 2012, there were approximately 410,000 tribal elders age 65 and older in Indian Country. This number is expected to nearly triple between 2010 and 2050. As the Native senior population grows, so does the… Read more »

Special Issue 2015: Home- and Community-Based Meal Services for Older Adults

August 28, 2015

The goal of this Special Issue of the Journal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics is to feature state-of-the-field original articles that provide research-based insight into different programs and approaches that deliver nutrition-related home- and community-based services (HCBS). This is the first single body of work that details many facets of evidence regarding these programs,… Read more »

Framework for Isolation in Adults Over 50

April 15, 2015

This report presents the results of the first phase of the AARP Foundation Isolation Framework Project. This report establish a more thorough understanding of the current state of research related to isolation across multiple disciplines, with a special focus on research related to adults aged 50+. In addition, this report reviews measures of social isolation… Read more »

Depression

April 16, 2015

When someone has depression, it interferes with daily life and normal functioning. Depression causes pain for both the person with depression and those who care about him or her. This web site covers multiple topics related to depression among the elderly.