End Isolation & Loneliness
What if we could build communities where everyone feels a sense of belonging? Where real connections between people create impactful relationships? Where we all live with meaning and purpose?
The Wisconsin Coalition to End Social Isolation and Loneliness (WCESIL) is bringing community organizations and individuals together to make that happen.
Social Isolation & Loneliness: What’s the Difference?
- Social Isolation: The objective experience of having few or infrequent social connections.
- Loneliness: The subjective and distressing feeling of social isolation, often defined as the difference between actual and desired level of social connection.
- Social Connection: The ways that people can be physically, emotionally and culturally connected to others.
Find resources and tools and learn about coalition initiatives to support older adults and people with disabilities in communities throughout Wisconsin.
Two work groups of WCESIL work in this area: Public Policy and Measurement. Learn more about each here:
The Impact of Loneliness & Social Isolation
Loneliness and social isolation have serious physical and mental health implications in older adults and people with disabilities.
In older adults:
A study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine showed:
In people with disabilities:
A Michigan University health policy brief developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research showed:
Public Policy Issues Impacting Loneliness & Social Isolation
Research on Loneliness & Social Isolation in Older Adults
The Public Awareness Work Group works in this area. Learn more about the work group here:
Raising Awareness to Connect People
The resources here are intended for professionals to utilize as tools and examples for engaging members of your community to encourage meaningful connections and purpose.
How can you use these tools in your community? We’ve shared some strategies, but feel free to be creative and share what has been successful!
If you have a newsletter, paper, do bag stuffers, or have other print or online communication with isolated members of your community, consider inserting one of the following. Download and enter your own community activities and events to distribute to people in your area.
This fillable document can help people who are lonely and/or socially isolated create an action plan for creating meaningful connections.
Community Response Examples
Detecting Loneliness & Social Isolation and Engaging in Interventions
Identifying people who are lonely and/or socially isolated is a challenge. But it’s a critical step in reaching and supporting them.
The resources here provide tools for assessing and providing resources to community members to encourage meaningful connections and purpose. How can you use these tools in your community? We’ve shared some strategies, but feel free to be creative and share what has been successful!
How connected are your community members? Share this self-evaluation from AARP’s Connect2Affect.
We’ll be continually looking for reliable sources of information and tools to support people who are lonely or socially isolated in your community. Watch for regular updates!
How connected do individuals in your community feel?
This self-evaluation tool from AARP’s Connect2Affect can help people identify their level of connection.
Contact Pam VanKampen, GWAAR OAA Consultant with any questions or if you have additional resources.
About the Coalition
Learn More about the Coalition:
These organizations are providing leadership to the coalition as part of the steering committee:
The Wisconsin Coalition to End Social Isolation & Loneliness (WCESIL) encourages individuals and organizations from all across the state to join us in finding and supporting people who are lonely and/or socially isolated. As a member, you’ll have the opportunity to join a work group to play a role in the effort or simply stay informed about coalition activities and initiatives.
To join, please fill out the appropriate form below and let us know your interests and availability. We will follow up with you to facilitate your participation.