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