Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging to support national campaign on problem of isolation and loneliness in older adults

Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging (NEI3A) has announced that it is supporting a national campaign led by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), in collaboration with the AARP Foundation, to raise awareness of the growing problem of social isolation and loneliness in older Americans. It is estimated that one in five adults over age 50 are affected by isolation, a problem that has been associated with higher rates of chronic disease, depression, dementia and death.

This topic is the focus of the annual Eldercare Locator Home for the Holidays Campaign, developed to encourage discussion of important issues affecting older Americans at a time of the year when family and friends often gather together. The campaign features a consumer brochure, “Expand Your Circles: Prevent Isolation and Loneliness As You Age,” which offers information and resources to help older adults reduce their risk of becoming isolated or lonely.

As part of the national network of 622 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and the more than 250 Title VI Native American aging programs providing crucial home and community-based services and supports for older adults in virtually every community in the nation, NEI3A is uniquely positioned to shine a light on this growing problem and to help find solutions.

“Because our agency is on the frontlines of helping older Iowans live with dignity and independence in their homes, connecting them to an array of in-home services so vital to their well-being, we are often the first to realize that an older adult is isolated and lonely,” said Donna Harvey, CEO of NEI3A. “That’s why we believe our participation in this national campaign can have such a major impact locally.”

NEI3A hopes to raise awareness of the problem of isolation and loneliness in a number of ways, including one-on-one counseling with our clients and leveraging traditional and social media to spread the word. Working with the strong, local coalition of government, nonprofit and private sector organizations interested in issues affecting older adults, NEI3A also hopes to build consensus for the development of solutions that will alleviate this problem for those suffering today and for those who may be at risk in the future.

For more information about services in the local area or to receive the consumer brochure “Expand Your Circles: Prevent Isolation and Loneliness as You Age,” contact LifeLong Links toll-free at 866-468-7887.

Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging serves 18 counties in northeast Iowa and is one of six Area Agencies on Aging in Iowa. With a mission of enhancing the quality of life for older individuals, caregivers and persons with disabilities in the local service area through education, planning and coordination of services, NEI3A strives to enable them to live safe and independent lives with dignity, purpose and self-determination.

Through LifeLong Links (866-468-7887), the first call for accessing information and options for aging, disability, veteran or caregiving resources, Iowans are connected to the home and community-based services they need. For more information visit