Designing a New Social Infrastructure to Combat Loneliness in Aging Adults

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Published today in American Society on Aging "Generations, “Designing a New Social Infrastructure to Combat Loneliness in Aging Adults” by Linda P. Fried, MD, MPH, argues how loneliness in older adults is shaped by social context, which compounds personal vulnerabilities associated with aging. Practitioners need to understand loneliness to better support those who are lonely now, because loneliness is a social issue, but loneliness cannot be solved one person at a time in a clinical context. This article demonstrates that some types of loneliness in older adults are socially constructed, a product of change in family structure and valuation of roles, ageism and age segregation, social norms, policies, and a social infrastructure created in the twentieth century that is not suited to twenty-first century realities. Dr. Fried is Dean and DeLamar Professor of Public Health at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and she is Director of the Columbia Aging Center.

Read the piece here.