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The Cost of Loneliness

Updated: Feb 15

According to the CDC and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine nearly one-fourth of adults aged 65 and older are socially isolated. Seniors are at increased risk for feeling lonely and being socially isolated because of factors such as living alone, the loss of family or friends, chronic illness, and hearing loss, not to mention the isolation brought upon them because of Covid-19 safety measures.

Recent studies have found that social isolation significantly increases a person’s risk of premature death from every cause, with levels of risk that rival those of smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity. Social isolation was associated with a 50% percent increased risk of dementia and poor social relationships were associated with a 29% increased risk of heart disease and a 32% increased risk of stroke.

Furthermore, loneliness was associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide and chronic loneliness among heart failure patients was associated with a nearly 4 times increased risk of death, a 68% increased risk of hospitalization, and 57% increased risk of emergency department visits.

While these numbers are alarming, there are things we can do to help. We are limited in action due to Covid-19, but enrolling seniors in programs like Cards for Grandma can help combat loneliness and the side effects it brings. By keeping our loved ones connected and engaged with routine card deliveries, we can make them feel less lonely, more loved, and happier. This in turn will not only bring emotional benefits but physical ones as well. Help us do our part in helping seniors remain happier and healthier by sending the gift of cards.

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