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IBM – Combating Loneliness in the Ageing Population

Post written by Sheila Zinck, Advocacy and Eminence Program Manager, IBM Accessibility Research

The world’s aging population is expanding rapidly, and by 2050 more than one out of five people will be age 60 or older. A new epidemic is growing just as quickly, with 43% of people over 60 reporting that they are suffering from loneliness.

With an impact often equated to smoking 15 cigarettes a day, loneliness can have a devastating effect on both cognitive and physical health, including:

  • 29 percent increased risk of coronary heart disease and 32 percent increased risk of stroke
  • 64 percent increase in developing dementia
  • 26 percent increased likelihood of death

Examining this Growing Issue
To better understand the impact of loneliness on the aging population, IBM’s Institute for Business Value (IBV) and the IBM Accessibility Research team conducted interviews with a global ecosystem of medical professionals, social workers, consumer and electronics manufacturing experts, advocacy leaders, as well as software startups and government officials for its latest study, “Loneliness and the aging population – how businesses and governments can address a looming crisis.”

The report addresses how organizations can better understand loneliness and aging, and provides recommended actions to mitigate loneliness among older adults.

To read more and to access the full report, click here

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