Isolation and loneliness among our seniors

Isolation and loneliness among our seniors


Learn about our new product, Famileo. It fosters high quality social relationships with seniors. It is especially useful in the current covid-19 pandemic where we try to minimize our contact with vulnerable seniors.

How many seniors are isolated and lonely?

Social isolation, loneliness and social vulnerability are frequent afflictions among our seniors. [1] The data is actually striking. According to a study from the Journal of Applied Gerontology (2019), between 10% and 43% of seniors are facing social isolation. While 43% report being afflicted by loneliness.[2] It’s fair to assume that during our current context of social distancing, these statistics are higher. The global pandemic entails quarantines and mandatory physical social distancing practices which exacerbate the severe isolation and solitude our seniors were already facing.

How can we better understand the afflictions our seniors face? How can we, family members, equip ourselves to reach out to our loved seniors, when in-person visits are not possible due to Covid-19 or geographical distances?


What are the differences between social isolation, loneliness & social vulnerability?

Social isolation and loneliness are two distinct afflictions, while there is partial overlap.[3] [4]We have retained the following definitions which appear in recent documentation prepared by the institut national de la santé publique du Québec (INSQ).

Social isolation refers to situations where contacts are rare (in number, duration, frequency) and of low quality (in terms of the exercise of social roles or mutual exchanges)


Loneliness refers to the perception of a marked gap between the quantity and quality of relationships a person has compared to what he or she would like to have.”.[5]
Researchers provide different definitions of these constructs. However, most agree that social isolation has a more objective dimension while loneliness encompasses the individual’s subjective reaction to their surroundings and social networks.[6]


Social vulnerabilityis another key notion. It refers to the extent to which a person’s social situation makes them vulnerable to other health issues or social harm.[7]


What are the effects of isolation & loneliness on our seniors’ health?

The high prevalence of isolation and loneliness among our seniors is alarming because it translates to poor mental and physical health. On the contrary, an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence shows the positive ramifications tied to social connectedness.

Social isolation among seniors is associated (but not limited to) an increase of an individual’s risk of:

“In a meta-analysis, loneliness and social isolation were shown to be associated with an increased risk of mortality of 26% and 29% respectively.”[10]
    • Increased risk of mental health illnesses (ex. dementia and Alzheimer’s disease)[11] [12]
    • Heart disease and risk of stroke[13]
    • Depression, anxiety and suicide [14]


Whereas social connectedness among seniors is notably associated with:
    • Good physical and mental health
    • Longer lifespan[15]


An important finding regarding the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

As mentioned above, seniors who are facing social isolation are more vulnerable to developing mental health illnesses, including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Inversely, a high-quality social support is linked to better health.[16]
Researchers have shown that social support is remarkably a protective factor for mental health issues.[17]
While social support can take many forms, the current social distancing measures render sustaining social connections with family members difficult at times.



For these reasons, Eugeria is excited to make Famileo, a personalized family newspaper, available in Canada. This product is already a success in France and in Europe.




Famileo is a family newspaper delivered to your grandparents’ mailbox with photos and messages you share via a smartphone app. Famileo is where technology meets paper—the optimal communication medium for each generation! We believe bridging the digital divide gap when it comes to communication between generations is easier with Famileo.


Famileo is the newspaper that helps you keep in touch and strengthen family bonds. Why we love it:

    • Paper is a familiar medium for our elderly loved ones
    • The simple layout and large format are adapted to senior preference
    • Great starting point for topics of conversation with all members of the family
    • Exciting mail to be awaited with interest on a punctual basis by your senior loved one
    • The app is easy to navigate, and the layout, printing and mailing are done by Famileo


We believe Famileo is truly a simple and innovative solution to maintain and strengthen relationships with your older loved ones. We hope you will give it a try and let us know what you think! Get your first newspaper for free by using the promo code “EUGERIA” when you register. To purchase now, visit the Famileo website.


If you found this product interesting, you might also like to learn more about Familink.

In addition, if you liked this article, you will also like to read the following article Technology Helps Seniors Overcome Isolation & Loneliness.



















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