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Alleviating social isolation and loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic

APA Senate testimony recommends increasing access to mental and behavioral health services to combat social isolation in older adults

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American Psychological Association. (2020, June 30). Alleviating social isolation and loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic. http://www.apaservices.org/advocacy/news/isolation-loneliness-covid-19
Alleviating social isolation and loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic

APA submitted written testimony to the Senate Special Committee on Aging (PDF, 220KB) for its June 11 hearing “Combating Social Isolation and Loneliness During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” The testimony highlighted key research findings on social isolation and loneliness, including potential long-term negative health outcomes. It also discussed the increased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, dementia, and other conditions for those who are socially isolated or lonely. Research indicates that Non-Hispanic African American residents in rural areas were found to have higher rates of perceived loneliness. APA also included several policy recommendations to help alleviate social isolation and loneliness in the testimony including: highlighting the importance of mental health services; increasing investments in the health care workforce to help older adults; supporting Older Americans Act programs such as home-delivered meals to provide social connectivity; and supporting technology, transportation, and vulnerable populations.