Alert1's August 2021 Newsletter (Jared's Draft)

Do Loneliness and Isolation Increase Falling in the Senior Citizen Population?

The effects of loneliness and social isolation are more far-reaching than the average person might assume. A study published in December 2020 from the University College of London has found that loneliness and social isolation are associated with higher rates of falling in the senior population.

A Pew Research Center study revealed that older adults in the U.S. are more likely to live alone than anywhere else in the world. Older adults in other parts of the world will often live with extended or immediate family in the later stages of their lives. About 12 million seniors live alone in the U.S., but only around 30% of seniors living alone say they are financially comfortable, making a fall-induced hospital visit inaccessible or, in some cases, completely unaffordable for many older Americans.

What does this mean for American seniors? A lack of care and companionship directly impacts not only seniors’ mental health, but their physical health, too. The University College of London’s study makes it clear that loneliness and social isolation are related to higher rates of falling.

American Seniors and the Benefits of Aging in Place

American seniors have a few options for later-in-life living situations. Some older adults are able to live with other family members, some pay monthly or yearly fees to live in senior living communities, and others choose to age in place. “Aging in place” means living in your own home as you grow older. There are many benefits to aging in place. The comfort of living at home, flexibility of independence and freedom, and cost savings for individuals and families are among the reasons that some American seniors choose to grow old in their own homes.