Proposal Addresses the Impact of Loneliness in New Jersey

Executive John Klein serves as the chairman of Cambridge Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical company based in Teaneck, New Jersey. To inform the decisions he makes at Cambridge Therapeutics, John Klein follows healthcare-related news in New Jersey.

In May, an Assembly committee in the Garden State unanimously approved a new proposal that addresses loneliness and social isolation among seniors and other at-risk individuals in the Garden State, such as veterans and people with disabilities and mental illnesses. This decision comes after the creation of a task force by Democratic legislators to assess the frequency of social isolation among these groups.

A month prior, the National Institute on Aging published research results stating 28 percent of elderly adults in the United States live alone. While this doesn’t mean these individuals are lonely, it was noted that social isolation can increase the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and cognitive decline. Another study from the AARP Foundation also concluded that one in three people in the US over the age of 45 feel lonely.

The Assembly’s proposal to address this issue encourages the creation of new state programs for reducing the occurrence of loneliness. Their design would be based on common risk factors and loneliness levels among different groups as gauged by the task force on social isolation and loneliness. Further, the proposal calls for the panel to evaluate current state and local efforts to tackle the impact of social isolation.

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