To Combat Loneliness, Promote Social Health

Designating a minister to develop policies and catalyze innovation around the issue, as the U.K. has done, is an excellent example and will be interesting to follow in the years to come. But, as the researchers noted, it is important to diversify the approaches to bolstering social health. For instance, the Togetherness Program created by CareMore, a health plan and delivery system in the U.S., is taking a medical approach. Sachin H. Jain, president of CareMore, has stated that loneliness “should be addressed by physicians, nurses, and other clinicians as a treatable medical condition.” Among their efforts, they screen for loneliness during appointments, have regular phone conversations and home visits with at-risk senior patients to show they care, and provide informal social hubs at their clinics to foster connection.

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