Social isolation and loneliness have emerged as critical public health issues in recent years. While much of the attention is placed on aging adults and those over 65, social isolation and loneliness impact people at any age.
However, despite the increased attention, there is a lack of consistent terminology, little understanding of effective ways to help people feel connected and limited ability to measure the impact.
- Social Isolation is defined as the state in which an individual lacks a sense of belonging, lacks engagement with others, and has a minimal number of social contacts.
- Loneliness is the subjective feeling of isolation, not belonging, or lacking companionship.