College - Author 1

College of Liberal Arts

Department - Author 1

Social Sciences Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BA in Sociology



Primary Advisor

Sara Bartlett, College of Liberal Arts, Social Sciences Department


The older adult population in the US is drastically increasing, but the country is not adequately prepared to handle all of the growing needs that come with this demographic change. A large reason for this being the general population’s lack of understanding of the various experiences that older adults go through. This paper aims to provide a thorough review of existing literature on the subject of social isolation and loneliness, especially as it pertains to the older adult experience. I also highlight the role the COVID-19 pandemic has played in exacerbating such issues. I discuss the difference between social isolation and loneliness in both their risk factors and adverse outcomes, and I explore the ways in which this social disconnectedness impacts older adults. I review various interventions aimed at addressing these issues and highlight the discoveries and gaps within such studies. In an attempt to consolidate my main takeaways into a more digestible manner, I include two infographics that I’ve created as resources for physicians as well as older adults and their loved ones to better understand this subject and take action.

Included in

Gerontology Commons