July 26, 2021 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

City of LA Partners with Organization to End Loneliness Among Seniors

By Staff Writer

The City of Los Angeles Department of Aging and Element3 Health Monday jointly announced the launch of the End Loneliness Initiative, a collaboration aimed at curtailing the rise of social isolation and loneliness in older adults that is growing in the face of ongoing “shelter in place” measures.

Loneliness and isolation had been a significant factor in older adults’ health before COVID-19 and has been exacerbated by the ongoing crisis, officials say.

The initiative seeks to correct and prevent a rise in loneliness, particularly among older “shelter in place” measures. As a founding partner of the End Loneliness Initiative, the City of Los Angeles Department of Aging will help provide free solutions to provide meaningful, safe social connections for the region’s 1.2 million older adults.

As a leading expert in providing meaningful social connections for older adults, Element3 Health spearheaded the initiative to proactively address the loneliness epidemic. The initiative is focused on providing individuals with free access to meaningful social connections centered around activities that they enjoy. According to the organization, too many other efforts are well-intended but only offer standardized formats which do not address individual interests, talents and hobbies that compel people to become and stay engaged.

“To protect themselves against the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles, older adults find themselves increasingly cut off from their friends, families and communities. This has put them at increased risk of social isolation, loneliness and depression. The End Loneliness Initiative could not have come at a better time,” said Laura Trejo, general manager of the City of Los Angeles Department of Aging. “We are excited to work with the End Loneliness Initiative to provide older adults with social activities that they enjoy and can do from home.”

Social isolation and loneliness carry the same health risk as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and is associated with an increased risk of premature death, Element3 Health says. In addition, Stay at home and social distancing measures created a new urgency to what had been a growing problem.

“As devastating as COVID-19 is, formidable health consequences are still looming on the horizon,” said Element3 Health chairman and CEO David Norris. “Active, healthy older adults have been finding themselves socially isolated, physically inactive and alone. If we don’t do something now, a ‘second pandemic’ of heart disease, cancer and other loneliness and isolation-related illnesses will hit us in the years to come.”

The Los Angeles Department of Aging was drawn to the Initiative’s commitment to address social isolation and loneliness by creating engaging connections between older adults. The 1.2 million older adults in the region includes 20,000 retirees of the City of Los Angeles, who are part of the Los Angeles City Employees Retirement System (LACERS).

“LACERS is looking forward to integrating this program into its retiree wellness program, LACERS Well​, to bring more opportunities of social engagement and connectedness to its retirees,​“ said Neil Guglielmo, LACERS General Manager.

Julianne Holt-Lunstad, professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Brigham Young University, whose research helped establish a definitive link between loneliness and declining health, said people who have strong social connections are as much as 50% less likely to die over a given period of time than those who have weaker social bonds.

“Interventions to tackle this health problem should be as paramount as smoking cessation, physical fitness and nutrition interventions,” she said.

In this current climate, those interventions are few and far between, which is why the End Loneliness Initiative is focused squarely on solutions that motivate older adults to join and participate.

As part of the End Loneliness Initiative, Element3 Health is marshalling resources to provide all older adults in the nation, starting with Los Angeles, free access to virtual social and activity clubs. These virtual clubs are designed to connect older adults based on their shared passions in activity clubs that meet virtually on a safe and easy-to-use platform. Virtual chess, embroidery, dance, tai chi and other clubs are helping older adults stay healthy and socially connected, while maintaining the physical distance necessary to preserve their health and the health of their peers.

“The urgency of the moment requires immediate action,” Norris said. “We couldn’t wait for someone else to do this, so we and our supporters are addressing this issue today. We applaud the City of Los Angeles for taking this proactive step with us.”

Related Posts

NYC Man Arrested in Kidnapping of Dementia Patient at West Los Angeles VA Medical Center

July 23, 2021

July 23, 2021

Johnny Ray Gasca charged with one count of kidnapping in connection to July 19 kidnapping By Sam Catanzaro A New...

Police Looking for Westwood Village Strong Arm Robbery Suspect

July 23, 2021

July 23, 2021

UCLA police seek suspect in connection to July 19 incident By Chad Winthrop Police are searching for a suspected wanted...

Star Sushi Chef Leaving West LA Restaurant

July 22, 2021

July 22, 2021

Yoya Takahashi leaving Hamasaku By Kerry Slater A star sushi chef is departing from the West Los Angeles restaurant he...

New ‘Catio’ Opens at Cat Cafe Lounge

July 20, 2021

July 20, 2021

Los Angeles’ only non-Profit Cat Cafe has a new ‘Catio’ where you can enjoy a beverage and the company of...

One Killed in Sawtelle Electrocution

July 16, 2021

July 16, 2021

Rebar at high-rise construction site becomes electrically energized Thursday By Sam Catanzaro One person died after being electrocuted at a...

LA City Councilmember Koretz Seeks Reports on “Alarming” Drought Conditions

July 15, 2021

July 15, 2021

Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz, who represents Century City and Westwood, is pushing for for further water conservation efforts....

UCLA’s Ecosystem Health Report Card Gives L.A. County a C+

July 13, 2021

July 13, 2021

Jonathan Van Dyke/UCLA Newsroom In a report card published today, more than a dozen UCLA researchers and students take the full measure...

West LA Permanent Supportive Housing for Seniors, Veterans Breaks Ground

July 12, 2021

July 12, 2021

51-story, five story building coming to Santa Monica Boulevard By Chad Winthrop A five story supportive housing project for seniors...

Marina Drive-In Movie Summer Series Underway

July 9, 2021

July 9, 2021

Gather with your family and friends to watch movies by the sea in Marina del Rey. Marina Drive-In Movie Nights,...

Ridgeline Protection Public Comment Period Extended

July 8, 2021

July 8, 2021

From Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz After eight years of hard work, the Ridgeline Protection Ordinance, authored by Councilmember Koretz, is...

Mama Hong’s Moving From Brentwood to West LA

July 8, 2021

July 8, 2021

By Toi Creel A popular Vietnamese restaurant known for its pho and other tasty dishes has closed its Brentwood location,...

Local Winemakers Are Suing LA County Over New Restrictions on Vineyards

July 8, 2021

July 8, 2021

Malibu Coast Vintners and Grape Growers Alliance, along with local winemaker John Gooden have filed a lawsuit against the LA...

UCLA Remembers Legendary Football Coach Terry Donahue

July 6, 2021

July 6, 2021

From UCLA Athletics Terry Donahue, the winningest coach in Pacific-12 Conference and UCLA football history, passed away on Sunday evening,...

60 Apartments Unwrapped on Overland

July 6, 2021

July 6, 2021

Multi family housing complex will have 60 units.  By Toi Creel A 60-unit apartment complex is nearly done on Overland...