Social isolation is a public health crisis. Social isolation is defined as an absence of meaningful social relationships. Studies have found the health risks of social isolation can be more harmful than obesity, and prolonged isolation is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. In a united effort to help those affected, the foundations recently expanded Connect2Affect.org, which was originally launched by AARP Foundation in 2016. The site offers resources to address social isolation, including an assessment that individuals can take to find out if they or a loved one are at risk for social isolation and get guidance on how to strengthen their social bonds.
Funded by AARP Foundation with the support of a grant from United Health Foundation, this report explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adults of all ages, to understand levels of social isolation during the pandemic, and to assess knowledge of how social isolation can impact a person’s health.