Seniors: Loneliness and Social Isolation


Lack of social relationships, discontent with the quality of such relationships, or low levels of social engagement and participation, have damaging effects on the quality of life for Canadian seniors (Victor, Scambler, Bowling, and Bond 2005, 358). In Statistics Canada’s 2008/09 Canadian Community Health survey, it was found that 19 per cent of seniors lacked companionship and felt left out or isolated from others (Canada’s National Seniors Council 2014a). Additionally, 24 per cent of seniors also reported the wish to participate in more social activities during that year (Statistics Canada 2015d). In a meta-analysis of 148 studies, Holt-Lunstad, Smith and Layton (2010, 4) found that individuals who have adequate relationships versus individuals who did not had a 50 per cent greater likelihood of survival. This emphasizes the importance of addressing loneliness and social isolation in the senior population immediately as well as demonstrates the high need to create and implement innovative intervention strategies to respond to this growing issue. 


  • Introduction 
  • Defining Loneliness and Social isolation
  • Prevalence of Loneliness and Social Isolation in Seniors
  • Risk Factors
  • Consequences and Implications
  • Interventions
  • Bibliography
Contact Person/Organization: 

Community Development Halton

Type of Tool:

Publication Date: 

Social Isolation in Older Adults