Addressing Social Isolation in Washington State




Based on the 2020 American Association of Retired Persons AARP study, we know that social isolation and loneliness create a range of severe health issues, especially for older adults. Experts predict that even with the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, new coronavirus cases will continue well into 2021, with another surge potential in the winter of 2021. Continued social distancing, wearing face masks and diligent hand washing to protect all citizens’ health, especially our most vulnerable citizens, is necessary, particularly for those who have not yet received full COVID-19 vaccination.

Social isolation and loneliness certainly predate the COVID-19 pandemic. Older citizens experience isolation and loneliness at high rates. The COVID pandemic brought with it an urgency for organizations and providers to address social isolation. The sudden reorganization of priorities in the response to COVID allows us to move urgently to develop solutions that combat isolation and loneliness. 

Social isolation

It is our hope the recommendations located in the resource paper will continue to be applicable under more normal circumstances as social isolation is not an issue created solely by the pandemic.