What is it and why is it important to your health?
The Bottom Line
Social isolation should be considered a health risk. We need more scientific evidence about how to deal with social isolation.
Why is social isolation a health problem?
Human beings are social animals. We live with others, and we support each other; that’s what has given us an evolutionary advantage. So what happens when a person doesn’t have others to be with – when they are socially isolated? Older people are especially at risk of being socially isolated. By the time people reach their eighties, the majority live on their own, mostly because of widowhood. This is particularly the case for older women who are more likely to be widowed than older men. Older people’s social networks often get smaller for other reasons as well – children may have moved away, along with grandchildren, and aging siblings and friends may have died.
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Courtesy, McMaster Optimal Aging Portal