Loneliness is a feeling of sadness or distress about being by ourselves or feeling disconnected from our friends, neighbors and the world around us. It can also occur when we lack social support and meaningful connections.


Feelings of loneliness can happen to anyone, anywhere. But older adults or those recovering from an injury, illness or surgery can feel more isolated and unhappy—especially if leaving home is a challenge.


Here are some helpful tips to help you stay connected.


Four ideas to help feel connected


  1. Think about your past and current activities and traditions. What do you still enjoy? Are there new hobbies or pursuits you still dream about learning? It’s never too late.
  2. Search locally to find a new social group to join. Churches, communities, or civic organizations often post educational series, libraries, games, card groups and coffee hours.
  3. Try to be more active. Whether you ask a close friend or join a walking group, exercise is a great way to make healthy connections.
  4. Technology can build connections when distance or physical limitations prevent real-world interactions. If socially isolated, take advantage of online options. If you need help learning more, ask friends or family for guidance.


How caregivers can help with loneliness and social isolation


Everyone can help prevent loneliness by first recognizing the signs. Be aware if a family member or loved one becomes withdrawn, eats or sleeps less, or has experienced a recent major life loss.


By being aware of loneliness, family caregivers can do little things to make a big difference. 


  • Schedule a regular time to visit. If your loved one seems resistant, offer to drop by long enough to leave a book or cooked dish.
  • Help your loved one keep regular appointments for their hair or the doctor. Even going to the beauty shop or doctor’s office is a social event for those living in isolation.
  • Connect your loved one to appropriate local healthcare providers, resources and local events.
  • Be particularly aware of your loved one’s routine around the holidays. Helping them maintain some tradition can make them feel less alone.


Every day offers a new opportunity for you or your loved one to feel engaged and connected. When you recognize loneliness as a part of life, it’s more than possible to build fulfilling, meaningful times together.


Click here to learn whether you or a loved one are eligible for home healthcare services from CenterWell Home Health.