Social Isolation – The Silent Killer

According to a 2018 report from the AARP Foundation, more than a third of adults over 45 are lonely.  While that percentage (35%) remains unchanged from a 2010 version of the survey, the over-45 population has increased substantially during those eight years — meaning about 5 million more adults, almost 48 million in total, can now be considered lonely.  Another study has confirmed that social isolation has the same effect as smoking 15 cigarettes per day!

Social isolation in older adults can cause;

  • Cognitive impairment
  • Psychological distress (including depression and anxiety)
  • Neglect of health
  • Morbidity
  • The common cold
  • Mortality

Strong social ties promote health

  • Provides support at times of illness
  • Helps to stimulate the immune system
  • Reinforces good health practices
  • Stress elevation
  • Cognitively healthier

The I Did Something Good Today Foundation (IDSGTF) created the Adopt-a-Grandparent program to combat the growing issue of social isolation within the senior population. It is also our way of connecting communities. Our motto states, “Community supporting Community”, because it takes an entire community to become aware, get involved and take action.

IDSGTF’s Adopt-a-Grandparent program matches seniors to caring individuals who will adopt the older adult as their grandparent and commit to participating in an array of activities with their new companion. Click here to learn more and get involved!