A Snapshot of Isolation

John is 82 years old and lives alone in his suburban home. He no longer drives and finds it increasingly difficult to get around due to severe arthritis. John’s daughter visits once a week to take him shopping.  Although he appreciates his daughter’s visits, John feels lonely and would like to get out to see his friends at the VFW hall. He doesn’t like spending so much time alone.

What is Isolation?

6.7 million, or 17%, of adults aged 65 and older are isolated (www.Connect2Affect.org). There are two components of isolation – social isolation and loneliness. Social isolation is the lack of connection with other people, one’s community, and resources and supports. Loneliness is the feeling of being isolated and alone. Loneliness is feeling alone whereas isolation is being alone.

Many Factors Can Increase Risk of Isolation

Source: AARP Foundation, May 2012. Framework for Isolation in Adults Over 50

Social Isolation is a Serious Health Issue

Source: Cornwell, Waite (2009). Social Disconnectedness, Perceived Isolation, and Health Among Older Adults.
Source: Holt, Lunstad (2015). Loneliness and Social Isolation as Risk Factors for Mortality.

Get and Stay Connected!

The Agency on Agency Northeastern Illinois is actively working with Illinois Area Agencies on Aging and the Department on Aging on a coordinated strategy to combat social isolation. Stay tuned as we continue to expand resources and begin new initiatives to prevent social isolation and promote a positive quality of life for all! *Keep connected with us — Facebook, Twitter, Aging Report

Get Connected to Services and Resources in Your Community:

Senior Centers

– educational classes, recreational activities and health promotion programs

Senior Nutrition Programs

Community Dining Sites

Volunteer

Volunteer Opportunities

Additional Resources

AARP Foundation

Self-Assessment for Social Isolation

Eldercare Locator: Expand Your Circles – Prevent Isolation and Loneliness As You Age

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