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

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 or dealing with mobility or cognitive issues, feelings of social isolation will continue to grow.

The whitepaper identifies health risks associated with loneliness and social isolation, including depression and decline in cognitive abilities. Research shows that lacking social interaction can be just as damaging to health as smoking 15 cigarettes per day. The report also offers solutions to mitigate these risks though technology and community efforts.

The whitepaper covers:

  • How living alone can impact loneliness and social isolation
  • Using technology to mitigate the risks of loneliness and social isolation
  • How communities, both online and offline, can help mitigate loneliness