About Isolation

What is isolation?

Isolation is more than being alone. It’s the result of feeling detached physically or psychologically, or being disconnected from support groups of family, friends and community. Is Isolation affecting me?

Loneliness and isolation are not the same thing.

  • Loneliness (also known as subjective isolation) denotes how people perceive their experience and whether or not they feel isolated.
  • Objective isolation involves quantifiable measurements, such as the size of one’s social network (and the frequency of engagement with it), availability of transportation, and ability to access resources and information.

Isolation is a growing health epidemic.

  • More than 8 million adults age 50 and older are affected by isolation.
  • The health risks of prolonged isolation are equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Isolation in older adults is rarely caused by a single event.

More often, it’s the result of multiple causes, including poor physical and mental health, poorly designed communities, and major life events such as loss and retirement. Risk factors include:

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