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The Canadian Coalition for Seniors' Mental Health just launched first-of-their-kind national clinical guidelines on social isolation and loneliness in older adults.

In Canada, older adults are facing growing rates of social isolation and loneliness. Almost 25% of people 65 years and older reported they would like to have participated in more social activities in the past year, 19% felt a lack of companionship, while 30% were considered at risk of social isolation (Angus Reid, 2019; National Seniors Council, 2014 and 2017).

While the risks are serious, they are not inevitable. Increased social engagement has been linked to decreased disability and premature death. Some examples of social engagement include in-person or online social connections, volunteering and community participation, as well as physical activity.

The new guidelines include 17 recommendations that address prevention, assessment and interventions of social isolation and loneliness in older adults.

Accompanying these Guidelines will be a clinician pocket card that captures the recommendations for easy and quick reference. In the coming weeks, you will find the pocket card and supporting resources on our dedicated webpage on Social Isolation and Loneliness.

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