“I have lots of people to drive me around, but no one asks me how I am… My schedule is full, but I’m so lonely. All I want is to sit down and play cards or talk to someone.”

According to the National Seniors Council, approximately 50 per cent of people over the age of 80 report feeling lonely. Could you go a week without having any positive interactions? Most isolated seniors do, and it’s time we talk about it. Edmonton’s seniors are our parents, grandparents, friends and neighbours with a wealth of knowledge and experience. They helped build our city and communities, leading us to where we are now. How many times were they there for us when we needed them? Let’s be there for them now.

Loneliness and isolation are overlooked problems for those already dealing with mental and physical challenges as they age. Loneliness depends on the quality of day-to-day interactions with other people, not just how many there are. We can strengthen our communities by getting closer, it can be as simple as saying “Hello, How Are You?”

“Increasing connection between seniors and Edmontonians can be as easy as smiling, starting a friendly conversation, or walking with them down the street. The impacts of loneliness and isolation among our senior population can be devastating, we can end it and you can help.” said Councillor Mohinder Banga.