Working to foster social connection
Earlier this month, the Addressing Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults (SILO) Act was introduced by U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), chairman of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, and U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT). This bill would support Area Agencies on Aging, including PCA, and other community-based organizations in their work to reduce social isolation and loneliness among older adults and adults with disabilities. It would also support funding for organizations to obtain training to identify people most at risk for social isolation and to develop programming to foster social connection.
According to Sen. Casey, millions of older adults across the nation face loneliness and social isolation. This contributes to poor health outcomes, including declines in mental or cognitive health and the onset or worsening of chronic conditions. People who are socially isolated are also more vulnerable to elder abuse.