The Epidemic of Loneliness

Metta Fund is turning our grantmaking towards combating isolation for seniors, and the New York Times’ article “Researchers Confront an Epidemic of Loneliness” helps illuminate why this such a critical issue. According to the article, in the US, roughly one-third of adults over 65 and half of those over 85 live alone. Many have limited social and familial connections, and the loneliness they encounter affects their physical health by over-stimulating the body’s stress response, which can lead to increased blood pressure, decreased blood flow to vital organs, and weakening of the immune system.

Metta Fund is proud to see Friendship Line, a program of our grantee Institute on Aging, featured in the article as an intervention to reduce loneliness. The Friendship Line is a 24-hour call-in line seniors can contact for a friendly conversation.