Health Well-Being Social Connections

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, social isolation was already affecting older adults at a rate higher than other populations. Twenty-five percent of community-dwelling Americans age 65 years and older are considered socially isolated, and a significant number of adults in the United States report feeling lonely. One purpose of the Older Americans Nutrition Program  (OAANP) is to promote socialization of older adults. The OAANP strives to reduce hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition as well as promote health and well-being. Aging experts knew the value of socialization many years ago when they included it as one of the primary purposes of Older Americans Act.

This resource outlines different levels of social engagement that can be used to check on older adults or to provide a social connection. Many excellent programs exist,and this tip sheet only highlights a few. Consider additional resources suggested below demonstrating best practices in the area of socialization and well checks.