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)