It is estimated that one in five adults over age 50 are affected by isolation, a problem that has been associated with higher rates of chronic disease, depression, dementia and death. The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, in collaboration with the AARP Foundation, has launched a national public education campaign to raise awareness of the growing problem of social isolation and loneliness in older Americans.
This topic is the focus of the annual Eldercare Locator Home for the Holidays Campaign, developed to encourage discussion of important issues affecting older Americans at a time of the year when family and friends often gather together. The campaign features a consumer brochure, “Expand Your Circles: Prevent Isolation and Loneliness As You Age,” which offers information and resources to help older adults reduce their risk of becoming isolated or lonely.
“Because our agency is on the frontlines of helping older Americans live with dignity and independence in their homes, connecting them to an array of in-home services so vital to their well-being, we are often the first to realize that an older adult is isolated and lonely,” said Area Agency on Aging, PSA 2 Executive Director Doug McGarry. “This national campaign can have a local impact by informing families how isolation and loneliness might be impacting their loved ones.”