Social isolation and loneliness health risk
is equal to smoking 15 cigarettes each day

Almost half of all women over the age of 75 live alone.
Loneliness causes physical and mental decline.

Social isolation and loneliness health risk
is equal to smoking 15 cigarettes each day

Almost half of all women over the age of 75 live alone. Loneliness causes physical and mental decline.

Published by G. Emerson and
J. Jayawardhana in the
American Journal of Public Health

G. Emerson and J. Jayawardhana published a study in the American Journal of Public Health on the growing importance of loneliness as a public health issue. These researchers followed the same older adults for years. They discovered the percentage of seniors reporting being lonely increased over time. The same people reporting as lonely had declining abilities to perform Activities of Daily Living and increase in depression symptoms. One major contribution is this senior adult loneliness is the death of or distance from family and friends.

Be Aware

Look for signs of loneliness.

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read between the lines

The Risk

Social isolation health threats are real.

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emotional pain hurts too

Smart Solutions

Connect with others, it’s the first step.

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knowledge is power

Find Services

Help is waiting, are you ready?

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you’re not alone

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Helpful tips to brighten someone’s day!

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older women today are severely lonely


risk factors: genetics, death, conflict, abuse


magnitude of depression among the elderly

1st Step

Stay Connected

Reach out to family and friends who can give you encouraging feedback and provide you an honest, fresh perspective. Even though you may feel like withdrawing, calling a friend or getting out to socialize can boost your mood and outlook.

2nd Step

Engage in Activities

Engage in activities that you enjoy and make you feel good. A healthy mind also means a healthy body, make choices that take care of both. Remember that people around you want to help.

3rd Step

Set Goals

If you’re beginning the road to recovery, start small. For instance, get out of bed by a certain time, or plan a household chore… or even call a friend.

Notes from the Author

The first time I read this headline, I stopped in my tracks. I think about all the senior adults I cared for as a home health social worker. I think about the people discharged from the hospital to another facility far away from family and their community. It suggested patients in the Intensive Care Units that are tethered to ventilators, feeding tubes and other machines that beep and blink and no one comes to visit. And I remember my childhood hometown where the snowfall kept many older adults trapped in the house waving to me as I delivered the morning newspaper.

Loneliness kills. It slowly eats away at disabled veteran who have lost themselves into their devices and video games. Where a virtual world is the only interaction, they seek. It can disable new mothers suffering with postpartum depression. The rise in worsening chronic health conditions due to loneliness is well documented.

There is a solution! We can combat loneliness just as we have secondhand smoke. Both problems required focused attention on the root cause. Smoke free zones in public places, commercials showing the dangers of tobacco and all other media campaigns have drastically cut tobacco use today.

We can do the same for loneliness. Kindness campaigns are a good start. Here is what you can do to cut the loneliness rate in your own community. Build a Circle of Care around your most vulnerable members. Reach out to disabled veterans in your family. Keep them active by posting them messages on their REUNIONCare Bulletin Board. Offer to spend an hour with a senior adult or someone convalescing so their caregiving can run errands or simply, rest.

Join us at REUNIONCare and fight loneliness.

More stories are emerging about the next crisis to hit us, mental health issues. I get it. Our bubble existence can lead many of us down the wrong path. Isolation can lead to loneliness that leads to depression which intensifies with other chronic conditions and limitations that make life hard.

Monica Stynchula – CEO / REUNIONCare, Inc.