Boston FriendshipWorks works to end social isolation and loneliness in the elderly – NBC Boston
More than a third of adults 45 and older feel lonely and nearly a quarter of adults 65 and older are socially isolated, according to a 2020 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
But the increase in rates of social isolation and feelings of loneliness did not start in 2020. It existed long before the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Boston-based organization, FriendshipWorks, is trying to end it. problem for over 37 years.
“Our ongoing mission has been to reduce social isolation, improve the quality of life and maintain the dignity of seniors in the Greater Boston area,” said Janet Seckel-Cerrotti, Executive Director of FriendshipWorks. “Our vision is really to end the isolation of seniors and create a connection for all.”
FriendshipWorks matches volunteers with seniors who identify as feeling lonely or socially isolated. Volunteers visit their new friends on a weekly basis.
The organization is one of those who premiered the international film “All The Lonely People” at Brookline’s Coolidge corner last Thursday to spark a conversation that loneliness is common among all ages.
“It’s the stigma, I think, that we hope to break down, which makes it possible to say, ‘I’m alone’,” said Stu Maddux, the film’s director, at the screening. “Someone here tonight is going to be helped.”
The video at the top of this article details the problem, including information and advice from medical professionals.