Combating Isolation and Loneliness

The Senate Select Committee on Aging held a hearing on April 27 that examined the consequences of isolation and loneliness among America’s aging population and explored programs and resources for at-risk adults.

“The consequences of isolation and loneliness are severe: negative health outcomes, higher health care costs and even death. The root problem is one that we can solve by helping seniors keep connected with communities,” said Committee Chairwoman Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine). “Just as we did when we made a national commitment to cut smoking rates in this country, we should explore approaches to reducing isolation and loneliness. Each has a real impact on the health and well-being of our seniors.”

Witnesses included a professor of psychology at Brigham Young University; a professor of Social Work and director of the Center on Aging at the University of Maine; and representatives from private sector organizations that assist the elderly.

The Senate Special Committee on Aging does not write legislation, but it can offer policy recommendations. To view the webcast, visit the Senate Aging Committee web site.