The Lethality of Loneliness

Why do we focus so much of our Orientation Training making sure volunteers understand that the every act of service we perform is, at its heart, all about the visit and the personal connection we are making with the person we are serving on that day, in that moment?

Because that personal connection is the most important thing we offer. This Tedx Talk by John Cacioppo, a professor at the University of Chicago and director of the University of Chicago Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience, explains why.

It's well worth a listen.

"Loneliness worsens depression, causes fragmented sleep and is tied to a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, studies show. Loneliness has several physiological effects, Cacioppo says, like making blood vessels more resistant to blood flow. The resulting rise in blood pressure shows up in older adults a few years later, says Cacioppo, who explains further in his TEDx talk on the lethality of loneliness.

Choice is the difference between being alone and being lonely, Cacioppo says – loneliness happens when people are forced to be alone. In his long-term studies of older adults, he says, 'What we find is when they start losing the capability of being mobile, when they can no longer see their friends, their level of loneliness rises significantly.'"

Join us for Volunteer Orientation Training on Saturday, June 23rd from 6-7:30 pm at Blessed Sacrament Church in South Charleston.

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