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Unravelling the impact of social isolation and nursing home placement in older adults: where do we go from here?
  1. Nahida Akter,
  2. Donna Marie Fick
  1. Nursing, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Donna Marie Fick, Nursing, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; dmf21{at}psu.edu

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Commentary on: Pomeroy ML, Cudjoe TKM, Cuellar AE, et al. Association of social isolation with hospitalization and nursing home entry among community-dwelling older adults. JAMA Int Med. 2023; 183(9): 955–62. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2023.3064

Implications for practice and research

  • Social isolation is a significant risk factor for nursing home placement for older adults, and public health interventions to improve social connections are urgently needed.

  • Future research should address interventions across the lifespan and for those more vulnerable to isolation and loneliness, testing practical ways to improve social connectiveness.

Context

The quality of our lives is the quality of our relationships. As we approach a challenging time of the year for loneliness and isolation, what do we know about social isolation and healthcare utilisation in older adults? Almost a quarter of community-dwelling older adults experience social isolation.1 There is increasing concern about the effects on health outcomes for older adults. The study by Pomeroy and colleagues shed light on an often-neglected aspect: the association between social …

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Footnotes

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.