We are pleased to introduce RRF's third issue brief in a series of publications describing the Foundation's approach to grantmaking and improving the quality of life of older people. Engaged and Thriving: Promoting Social and Intergenerational Connectedness gives an overview of older adults' experiences of social isolation and loneliness, describes some of the work the Foundation is funding to promote social connectedness, and invites others to join us in developing creative, innovative solutions to address this critical component of healthy aging.
RRF's Response to this Crisis
Meaningful connection is a fundamental part of what constitutes a good life at any age. And although relationships may be many or few and may vary in intensity and duration, they are a kind of emotional lifeblood, nourishing us and playing a critical role in our larger health and well-being, especially as we get older. Of course, the flip side of social connection is isolation and the feelings of loneliness that may follow.
In one study, 40% of older adults reported feeling lonely and 24% were socially isolated. There are many reasons why older adults can be isolated and as the COVID-19 pandemic brought to light, the unequal allocation of resources has further created a divide that separates many of us from the technological supports and services that can provide needed connections to people and programs.
RRF is responding to this crisis not only by funding innovative projects to address social isolation and loneliness, but also by supporting the development and implementation of new assessment tools to measure these issues and their impact. In addition, we are asking questions that will lead to better understanding of what works and why, and how to best replicate those successful efforts.
Read our latest issue brief to learn more about RRF's Four Strategies Towards Greater Connection and the innovative work of our grantees in this important area.
Click "Download" to view this resource online.