Humans are social beings and being connected with others is essential. Older adults have navigated changes in relationships, roles, social customs, and communication technologies throughout their entire life. Most older adults are embedded in a network of family, friends, neighbours, and community. But, for some, the story can be different. It is estimated that 8% of older adults 65+ are very socially isolated in Canada (Newall & Menec, 2019); about 20% are somewhat socially isolated.
Social isolation refers to having little to no contacts with family, friends, or neighbors and participating in few social activities. Being socially isolated at any age can negatively affect people’s physical health, mental health, and well-being.
People may become socially isolated for various reasons. For older adults, declines in health and mobility, loss of a spouse, or losing a driver’s license are examples of major changes that can prevent people from being as socially active as they would like. With the COVID-19 pandemic, and the public health mandate to physically distance, social isolation has become more common.
Even before COVID-19… 1 in 3 Canadians 65+ said they would like to participate in more social activities.
(Menec et al., 2020)
Why Targeting Isolation? Social isolation impacts people’s health and well-being. Societies miss out on the important contributions that older adults make. There are community programs and services that can help empower and support older adults to become more socially engaged.
Targeting Isolation Manitoba provides information, resources, and training opportunities on what social isolation is, how it can impact health and well-being, and ways of connecting isolated older individuals to community resources.
Targeting Isolation is about:
Helping people identify and better understand social isolation
Training Community Connectors to connect socially isolated older individuals to community resources
Working with organizations that help reduce older people’s social isolation
Targeting Isolation is part of the Aging Well Together Coalition funded by the Federal Government of Canada’s New Horizon Program.
This website is designed to provide information and resources. It is not designed to replace professional advice on physical or mental health from a licensed health care provider. Please consult a professional for physical or mental health advice, diagnosis or treatment. You can also call Manitoba Health Links at 1-888-315-9257 for medical advice and resources. Health Links is a nurse call centre that provides free telephone health information 24 hours/day.
S112 Medical Services Building
Department of Community Health Sciences
Max Rady College of Medicine
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA
Phone Number: 204-272-3184