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senior woman sits alone in living room and looks sad

There are some things that money can’t buy. True friends and happiness are among them. In fact, an 80-year-long study at Harvard University claims good pals are the key to a happy life.

An AARP Foundation pilot program is using voice-activated technology to combat loneliness for seniors.

The Heart of the Matter

A recent AARP Foundation online survey found that 82 percent of U.S. adults would prefer to spend Valentine’s Day with someone rather than by themselves, and nearly half (48 percent) have worried about a friend or family member feeling lonely on the holiday.

Britain appointed its first-ever minister to combat loneliness, a problem the government says affects more than 9 million people in the country who always or often feel lonely.


Loneliness during aging is a growing problem as 1 in 4 of the 76 million baby boomers could become isolated. Here are five tips for promoting social engagement among seniors, courtesy of the Global Council on Brain Health.

Coping during a season of high expectations. – Why do we get lonely during the holidays? Let’s think about why we get lonely at all… that gap between what you expect, what you desire, and what you feel you have is often what we call loneliness. This problem is widespread.

Loneliness is incredibly tough to shake. It comes from our own perceptions and desires, so objective numbers and logic don’t always help us feel better. While there are no quick fixes, there are strategies that can help.

With the rise of social media it’s easy to assume people are more connected than ever, yet loneliness is at chronic levels, doubling to 40 percent over the past 40 years. The new grassroots plan links volunteers with industry veterans in need, offering a few phone calls a week for the young, old, disabled or isolated.

Social isolation also has been linked to other adverse health effects, including dementia, increased risk for hospital readmission and increased risk of falls.