Seniors and Social Isolation in Guelph & Wellington County

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Social isolation results when individuals do not have significant contact with others which can impact their quality of life. There are several things that may contribute to individuals becoming socially isolated, including a lack of financial resources, proximity to family members, death of friends and/or spouses, recent moves, transportation barriers, living alone, and social networks. Some seniors who are at increased risk of being socially isolated include those living in urban areas and recent immigrants to Canada. Although there are a number of challenges in measuring social isolation, knowing how many people experience social isolation is important because high levels of social isolation are linked to mortality, hospitalization, health problems, and depression. The Lubben Social Network Scale is one measure that can be used to determine social isolation levels. Despite difficulties in measurement, social isolation clearly exists among seniors and needs to be addressed. Prevention and early identification strategies are needed to help reduce the impact of social isolation. A list of some local programs and services are provided that may help to reduce social isolation in local seniors.

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