Loneliness and Social Isolation are public health issues that affect more than one-third of adults, with seniors most at risk for depression, substance abuse, and suicide triggered by feelings of isolation. Loneliness poses a serious physical risk—it can be, quite literally, deadly. As a predictor of premature death, insufficient social connection is a bigger risk factor than obesity and the equivalent of smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day,
Health risks associated with loneliness and social isolation are comparable to the dangers of smoking and obesity, increasing mortality risk by up to 30%.
Project 10:27 was born out of the recognition that the prevalence of loneliness and social isolation is on an upward trajectory in the US, and older adults are particularly susceptible. Loneliness often accompanies the kinds of challenging life circumstances that are more pronounced for older adults, like serving as a caregiver of a spouse or close friend, experiencing the loss of loved ones, being limited by mobility issues, lack of or no transportation and managing chronic or catastrophic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, mental illness or cancer.