In North Carolina, more than 788,000 people older than the age of 50 live alone and are at higher risk of social isolation. That includes many of the 31,700 seniors living in Ashe and Watauga counties. That isolation is now magnified by social distancing requirements.

The long-term effects of social isolation are very real. During a prolonged period, isolation is more dangerous to one’s health than obesity and it’s linked to a greater likelihood of early death, accelerated cognitive decline, poor cardiovascular function, and depression in adults 50 and older.

We may have all scaled back our personal interactions to stay safe, but that doesn’t mean we have to be alone. Today’s technology offers many different ways to keep in touch with family, friends, neighbors and loved ones. Whether you are a senior, a family member or caregiver AARP can provide help. To learn more go to

Alan Briggs

Volunteer Community Services Co-Ordinator

Ashe and Watauga counties, AARP NC

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