What is Social Isolation?
For a person to be socially isolated, it means that they receive a low quantity and quality of social contact with others. According to The National Seniors Council, approximately 50% of seniors 80 years and over experience some degree of social isolation.
Social isolation can have many adverse effects on health and well-being. Isolated seniors tend to have a greater risk of being hospitalized, are more susceptible to fall-related injuries, and engage in poor eating habits.
Seniors are at a greater risk of isolation due to the increased likeliness of critical life transitions.
Some of the leading risks factors are:
Living alone (single-dwelling)
Being age 80 or older
Having complex health issues, including multiple chronic illnesses, especially leading to physical disability
Living with mental illness or mental health concerns
Having no children or minimal contact with family
(Report on the Social Isolation of Seniors, Government of Canada, 2013-2014)