Feb 28, 2020 - Health

Seniors' loneliness epidemic

Hands of an older lady
Photo: Duncan Davis/Getty Images

We're failing to address seniors' social isolation, a serious public health threat, according to a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

Details: The report concluded that almost a quarter of Americans 65 and older who live in community settings have few relationships or infrequent social contact, the Wall Street Journal reports.

  • Research has shown that isolation is associated with an increased risk of early death.

It calls for HHS to create a national resource center for treating the issue, and for health care providers to monitor their patients for signs of loneliness.

  • It also said that Medicaid and private insurance, which are already increasingly addressing social determinants of health, should also address loneliness and isolation.

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