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Could a Cure for Loneliness In Older Adults Be This Simple?

The problem of isolation could use a common-sense solution

By Heidi Raschke

A few months ago, we reported on the Campaign to End Loneliness in the U.K., which is looking to treat the problem of loneliness and isolation in older adults as a public health issue. We shared advice for how to deal with loneliness, related stark facts about the risks of chronic loneliness and cited a 2015 study in Perspectives on Psychological Science which found that feeling socially isolated or disconnected for long periods led to an increased chance of early death.

Then we came across this video about a school playground that has a solution for kids who are lonely. Which got us wondering: Could something like this work for older adults?

It reminded us of the bus stop to nowhere in Germany that is used at Benrath Senior Center in Düsseldorf, Germany, as a kinder alternative to confining dementia patients. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.

Heidi Raschke is a longtime journalist and editor who previously was the Executive Editor of Mpls-St. Paul Magazine and Living and Learning Editor at Next Avenue. Currently, she runs her own content strategy and development consultancy. Read More
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