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Growth of Social Isolation and Loneliness in Seniors Underscores Need for Technology Solutions

SAN DIEGO – July 19, 2017 – GreatCall Inc., the leader in connected health for active aging, in conjunction with Aging in Place Technology Watch, today released a whitepaper titled, “Connecting the Lonely: Making a Difference in the Well-Being of Older Adults,” discussing the growth of loneliness and feelings of isolation in the senior population.


The prevalence of social isolation, according to the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), may be as high as 43 percent among community (non-institutional) dwelling older adults. Nearly half of those aged 62-91 experience loneliness, notes an AARP Foundation study. With more older adults living alone, leaving the workforce, having friends who have moved far away or dealing with mobility or cognitive issues, feelings of social isolation will continue to grow.


The whitepaper identifies health risks associated with loneliness and social isolation, including depression and decline in cognitive abilities. Research shows that lacking social interaction can be just as damaging to health as smoking 15 cigarettes per day. The report also offers solutions to mitigate these risks though technology and community efforts.


The whitepaper covers:


  • How living alone can impact loneliness and social isolation
  • Using technology to mitigate the risks of loneliness and social isolation
  • How communities, both online and offline, can help mitigate loneliness

 


“GreatCall’s products and services helps older adults stay active, independent, and connected to their family members, but we still see hundreds of customers – up to 250 per month -calling our center seeking social interaction,” said David Inns, CEO of GreatCall. “Face-to-face contact is an obvious solution, but for those who aren’t near friends and family, technology can help mitigate social isolation.”


“As the senior population becomes more and more comfortable with the internet and social media, they are adopting new technologies,” said Laurie Orlov, author of Aging in Place Technology Watch. “To help overcome social isolation and loneliness, older adults can take advantage of their online communities to engage with friends and family, make plans, and more.”


The whitepaper can be downloaded for free at https://www.greatcall.com/docs/default-source/newsroom-files/connecting-the-lonely-making-a-difference_072017.pdf.


About GreatCall


GreatCall is the leader in connected health for active aging. With health and safety solutions for older adults and their family caregivers, GreatCall's innovative suite of easy-to-use mobile products and award-winning approach to customer care helps aging consumers live more independent lives. Products and services include: Lively Mobile, Jitterbug Flip, Jitterbug Smart, Lively Wearable, Healthsense, Dashboard, HealthNotes and health, safety and wellness apps Urgent Care, GreatCall Link, MedCoach and 5Star Urgent Response Service.


GreatCall's products and services are sold nationwide at leading retailers as well as direct to consumers at 1-800-296-4993 and online at GreatCall.com. GreatCall is headquartered in San Diego, CA. To learn more, please visit www.GreatCall.com. This news release and other corporate assets are available at www.greatcall.com/newsroom or follow our news on Twitter @GreatCallincand on Facebook at Facebook.com/greatcall.

Thursday, July 20, 2017