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Social Isolation

Social isolation is the lack of social contacts and having few people to interact with regularly. You can live alone and not feel lonely or socially isolated, and you can feel lonely while being with other people. United States Surgeon General Murthy called social isolation a public health crisis greater than cancer or heart disease.

Research has found links between loneliness and premature death and established that isolation is a more powerful predictor of adverse health outcomes than obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and air pollution. Isolated adults are less able to take care of themselves and are at high risk during emergencies. The National Council on Aging estimates that almost 1 in 5 adults over age 65 would be considered "isolated." It is critical to address this trend by identifying older adults at risk and offering personal connections and emotional bonds.

UCOA Policy Position:

UCOA desires that all Utahns have opportunities for social engagement, volunteerism, and will advocate for policies and practices to address this growing health crisis. Alleviating social isolation through physical and social activities will help people feel better about their lives and give purpose to every day.



Research and Education


Public Policy

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Last Updated: 3/15/23