Lynette Killen, Executive Director of The Sarah Ralston Foundation, in partnership with Jane Eleey, Executive Director of Penn’s Village, and Nora Brier, Psy.D., and Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety (CTSA) in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, provided an educational session titled “Loneliness and Social Isolation – Identifying, Understanding and Addressing the Issue,” at the Regional Conference on Aging hosted by the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging.
“Loneliness and social isolation are risk factors for mental health issues like anxiety and depression in older adults,” Killen said. “The importance of defining, identifying, and addressing these issues are paramount to both the provider and elder community.”
Lynette and her colleagues spoke to a group of more than 50 participants, most of whom provide some form of care for our elders. “It was very motivating to know there’s such a strong network to support our older adults, and we have some real solutions in place,” noted Katie B. or Students Care. And Paula D. of the University of Pennsylvania said, “as a health provider, I appreciated hearing about specific tools and interventions to try with my patients that are targeted towards addressing loneliness.” Tom Shea, the lead organizer of the event for PCA said, “I’m pleased that it’s a topic that resonated and that so many people signed up.”