Loneliness and Social Isolation

August 3, 2018 – Volume 28, Issue 28
Do they pose a growing health epidemic? By Christina L. Lyons

The Next Step

Elderly Population

Bahrampour, Tara , “These college students moonlight as ‘grandkids’ for hire. Seniors love it,” The Washington Post, June 20, 2018, https://tinyurl.com/ycvsarbs. Using a new app pairing college students with the elderly, students in Florida are doing light housekeeping, driving seniors to appointments and, in the process, helping to alleviate loneliness.

Drury, Colin , “This Nightclub for the Elderly Is Fighting Loneliness with Tea Party Raves,” Vice, April 30, 2018, https://tinyurl.com/y8q8mytl. Two elderly siblings founded a weekly cabaret-style club near London to provide a lighthearted solution to seniors suffering from social isolation.

Rapaport, Lisa , “Depression may be more severe in elderly people,” Reuters, June 27, 2018, https://tinyurl.com/yajay9ld. The elderly are more susceptible to depression due to a prevalence of risk factors, such as chronic illness or loneliness, according to a recent Dutch study.

Health Effects

Coughlan, Doug , “Loneliness: The cost of the ‘last taboo,’” BBC News, Sept. 22, 2017, https://tinyurl.com/ycpb8dmo. The estimated health cost of loneliness for an elderly person in the United Kingdom is £6,000 (about $7,900) over a decade, according to a 2017 London School of Economics study.

Dodgson, Lindsay , “Lonely millennials are at a greater risk of developing anxiety and depression — but the reasons for their isolation are unclear,” Business Insider, July 3, 2018, https://tinyurl.com/y7huvzwc. Lonely Millennials are more likely to develop mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, and are more likely to engage in risky behavior, such as smoking, according to a recent study in the journal, Psychological Medicine.

Ducharme, Jamie , “Loneliness Can Actually Hurt Your Heart. Here's Why,” Time, March 26, 2018, https://tinyurl.com/yda2a2hd. New research shows that socially isolated or lonely individuals are not necessarily at higher risk of cardiovascular disease but may have greater difficulty in recovering from cardiovascular events.

Policy Solutions

Kasley, Killam , “To Combat Loneliness, Promote Social Health,” Scientific American, Jan. 23, 2018, https://tinyurl.com/y7xw6vsf. A multipronged approach, using social awareness and medical resources, would be most effective in combating loneliness, says a health care manager at a life sciences organization.

O'Sullivan, Feargus , “The World's First Minister of Loneliness,” CityLab, June 18, 2018, https://tinyurl.com/y7jh7kfu. Britain's newly appointed minister of loneliness could provide strong political advocacy for socially isolated individuals and advise businesses on how to reduce customer alienation, says a journalist.

Waugh, Paul , “All Government Policy Changes Could Be Subject To ‘Loneliness’ Test, Minister Suggests,” The Huffington Post, May 7, 2018, https://tinyurl.com/yahy6rd9. Britain's new loneliness minister proposes assessing future government policy changes for their potential impact on people's level of loneliness

Social Media

Alexander, Reed , “Don't blame social media for being lonely all the time,” The New York Post, Feb. 19, 2018, https://tinyurl.com/y8yb4ljj. A recent study concluded that social media does not cause loneliness, but that people who are lonely might turn to social media for comfort.

Trinko, Katrina , “Gen Z is the loneliest generation, and it's not just because of social media,” USA Today, May 3, 2018, https://tinyurl.com/ya2oqloo. Individuals ages 18–22 are the loneliest of any age group due to a decline in face-to-face interaction, says a USA Today columnist.

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Document APA Citation
Lyons, C. L. (2018, August 3). Loneliness and Social Isolation. CQ researcher, 28, 657-680. Retrieved from http://library.cqpress.com/
Document ID: cqresrre2018080310
Document URL: http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/cqresrre2018080310
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Aug. 03, 2018  Loneliness and Social Isolation
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Aug. 14, 1992  Work, Family and Stress
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