Social isolation, loneliness in older people pose health risks
Human beings are social creatures. Our connection to others enables us to survive and thrive. Yet, as we age, many of us are alone more often than when we were younger, leaving us vulnerable to social isolation and loneliness—and related health problems such as cognitive decline, depression, and heart disease. Fortunately, there are ways to counteract these negative effects. NIA-supported researchers are studying the differences between social isolation and loneliness, their mechanisms and risk factors, and how to help people affected by these conditions. “NIA is interested in exploring potential interventions to address social isolation and loneliness, which are both risk factors for poor aging outcomes,” said Lisbeth Nielsen, Ph.D., of NIA’s Division of Behavioral and Social Research. Social isolation and loneliness do not always go together. Health effects of social isolation, loneliness Breaking ground in loneliness research Dr. A pioneer in the field of social neuroscience, Dr.
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