Isolation and loneliness can be devastating feelings, and for older adults they can be easier to fall into. What many people don't realize is that loneliness can also impact health.

There are several risk factors that impact older adults especially. Those are:

  • Widowed or without a domestic partner
  • Lack of family support- either by geographic distance or estrangement
  • Not connected to a church or faith based community
  • Unable to drive or inadequate access to transportation
  • Live in rural areas
  • Functional limitations, mobility challenges, mental health or cognitive impairments
  • Live alone
  • Lack of financial resources
  • Multiple, poorly managed chronic health conditions
  • Deaths of friends and family members

Chronic loneliness can exacerbate the aging process, and can have a negative impact on the health of an older adult. In some cases, it is a factor in poor health outcomes, like death of functional decline.

According to the new AARP Foundation website Connect2Affect 17% of American adults 65 and older are isolated. There is a 26% increased risk of death due to subjective feeling of loneliness. Six million adults 65 and older have a disability that prevents them from leaving their homes without help, and 51% of people 75 and older live alone.

Most older Americans say they want to continue live in their own homes, but that could pose a problem with isolation and loneliness. But, one o the easiest ways to help with that is by offering meaningful engagement, volunteer and recreational opportunities, and human connections.

You can learn more about LifeCircles PACE by visiting this link.

You cna learn more about Porter Hills by following this link.

â–ºMake it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the WZZM 13 app now.

Have a news tip? Email, visit our Facebook page or Twitter.