U.S. Senator Tina Smith Introduces Legislation to Address Social Isolation for Seniors
On October 28, 2019 by Jodi Boyne
Social isolation is a growing epidemic among older adults. Nearly half of older adults feel isolated, alone or left out, and seniors who experience social isolation face a 29% increased risk of mortality. U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) is addressing this challenge by introducing legislation to counter the detrimental and physical effects of social isolation among seniors.
The Older Americans Social Isolation and Loneliness Prevention Act would revise the Older Americans Act to create supports and services so states can better coordinate and address social isolation and loneliness among seniors.
"Connectedness to communities is important for seniors and our economy to thrive," said U.S. Senator Tina Smith. "The bill would make it possible for states to pursue projects that address social isolation and loneliness, and support prevention and other supportive services for seniors in Minnesota and across the country."
The legislation's suggested revisions to the Older Americans Act include: support for screening for prevention of social isolation and coordination of supportive services and healthcare; expanded authority for the assistant secretary for aging on social isolation and loneliness via long-term planning and an interagency working group with aging network stakeholders; and permitting states to pursue grant funding for initiatives to counter social isolation and loneliness among seniors.