May is Older Americans Month

Every May, the Administration for Community Living leads the nation’s observance of Older Americans Month, a time to recognize contributions, highlight aging trends, and reaffirm commitments to serving seniors in our communities.

The 2024 theme is “Powered by Connection,” which recognizes the profound impact that meaningful relationships and social connections have on health and well-being.

Social isolation is a serious global health concern that is harmful to older adults’ health and well-being and leads to increases in serious diseases and even premature death.

  • The highest rates of social isolation are found among older adults.
    Chronic loneliness and social isolation can increase the risk of developing dementia by approximately 50% in older adults.
  • Older adults cognitive abilities decline 20% faster among those who reported loneliness.
  • Loneliness and social isolation increase the risk for premature death by 26% and 29% respectively.
  • Social isolation among older adults alone accounts for an estimated $6.7 billion in excess Medicare spending annually, largely due to increased hospital and nursing home care spending.
  • The mortality impact of being socially disconnected is similar to that caused by smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day, and even greater than that associated with obesity and physical inactivity.

Source: Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation: The U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory on the Healing Effects of Social Connection and Community

Givens Great Laurels joins with LeadingAge North Carolina to help create and support connections for healthier, happier older Americans.