Local agency supports national campaign on problem of isolation and loneliness in older adults

The Bluegrass Area Agency on Aging & Independent Living is pleased to announce that it is supporting a national campaign led by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), in collaboration with the AARP Foundation, to raise awareness of the growing problem of social isolation and loneliness in older Americans.

It is estimated that one in five adults over age 50 are affected by isolation, a problem that has been associated with higher rates of chronic disease, depression, dementia and death.

This topic is the focus of the annual Eldercare Locator Home for the Holidays Campaign, developed to encourage discussion of important issues affecting older Americans at a time of the year when family and friends often gather together. The campaign features a consumer brochure, “Expand Your Circles: Prevent Isolation and Loneliness As You Age,” which offers information and resources to help older adults reduce their risk of becoming isolated or lonely.

As part of the national network of 622 Area Agencies on Aging and the more than 250 Title VI Native American aging programs, providing crucial home and community-based services and supports for older adults in virtually every community in the nation, the Bluegrass Area Agency on Aging & Independent Living is uniquely positioned to shine a light on this growing problem and to help find solutions.

“Because our agency is on the front lines of helping older Americans live with dignity and independence in their homes, connecting them to an array of in-home services so vital to their well-being, we are often the first to realize that an older adult is isolated and lonely,” said Celeste Collins, Director. “That’s why we believe our participation in this national campaign can have such a major impact locally.”

We hope to raise awareness of the problem of isolation and loneliness in a number of ways, including one-on-one counseling with our clients, holding special events and leveraging traditional and social media to spread the word. Working with the strong, local coalition of government, nonprofit and private sector organizations interested in issues affecting older adults, we also hope to build consensus for the development of solutions that will alleviate this problem for those suffering today and for those who may be at risk in the future.

Bluegrass Area Agency on Aging & Independent Living is located at 699 Perimeter Drive, Lexington.