Loneliness, Social Isolation in Seniors Need Urgent Attention
Healthcare systems need to take urgent action to address social isolation and loneliness among US seniors, experts say. A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) points out that social isolation in this population is a major public health concern that contributes to heart disease, depression, and premature death. The report authors note that the healthcare system remains an underused partner in preventing, identifying, and intervening in social isolation and loneliness among adults over age 50.
@guzmin For seniors who are homebound, have no family, or do not belong to community or faith groups, a medical appointment or home health visit may be one of the few social interactions they have, the report notes. Healthcare providers and systems may be "first responders" in recognizing lonely or socially isolated patients, committee chair Dan Blazer, MD, from Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina, said during a press briefing.