Preventing social isolation

All of us are social beings by nature, and feeling isolated can often have a negative impact on our well-being and health outcomes. Keeping in touch with the people we know can have many benefits for our physical health, mental health and wellbeing.

Did you know that…
  • About half of older New Zealanders experience some level of loneliness in our lives.
  • Older people are particularly vulnerable to social isolation or loneliness due to loss of friends and family, mobility or income?
  • A person can be socially isolated, but not lonely?
  • lacking social connections is as damaging to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes?
  • Loneliness and social isolation are not the same thing?

Our work on Social isolation

Social isolation checklist

The Office for Seniors has released a checklist to help people determine if they, or someone they know, is at risk of becoming socially isolated.

Suggested reading

If you want to find out more about social isolation, here are some suggested websites:

Loneliness in New Zealand: Findings from the 2010 NZ General Social Survey

A background on loneliness and social isolation in New Zealand, including results from the 2010 General Social Survey.

Social Well-being in New Zealand: Interactive tool

Find out how satisfied New Zealand adults are in terms of health, relationships, money and housing.

Research: Loneliness and Isolation Evidence Review

A comprehensive review on loneliness and isolation amongst older people by Age UK. Includes research and the effectiveness of services and community involvement in tackling social isolation and loneliness.

Articles on Social Isolation

A collection of useful articles on social isolation in older people