I remember what my mother said in the '60's

The first time I heard the term “a shut-in”

By: Director of LAO

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If you're a “baby-boomer”, like me, see if you remember hearing this term, used by your parents. When I was a kid, growing up in the 60's in a mid-western town of about 12,000 people, a woman lived about a 1/2-block from our house. I remember the house well, as it was covered in native-rock masonry, and had a nice 2-car garage (something not so common, in those days). We neighborhood kids, though, never saw her come out of the house. So, being kids, this woman was the subject of a number of stories we would make up. I even remember one Halloween night, several of us tried knocking on her door, hoping for some candy. Even though the lights were on, no one ever came to the door. Once in a while, on some days, you would....

The Reality of Living in an Isolated Age

Anyone can die alone—not just the lonely

By: Director of LAO

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In the early 1980s, I remember the news telling of a famous actor who had passed away, living in the heart of “Hollywoodland”, CA. It's not news, right? – we lose famous actors to old age regularly. And although he wasn't really that old, as a movie buff, I wasn't particularly interested at the time. The actor was William Holden; and while he was among the “famous of the famous”, I had never really liked his work.   However, about 10 years ago, I quite by accident ran across an Internet article about the death of William Holden. This new information, much more than had been broadcast years earlier, so surprised me – I have never forgotten it.  Apparently, Mr. Holden [in his last years] had bec....

LAO Members Share One Thing in Common – At First

An introduction to the LAO concept

By: Director of LAO

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People can become socially isolated for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they have endured this mindset since their childhood – plagued by events that shaped their psyche toward isolation as an adult. Or, perhaps life events as an adult have contributed to a downhill spiral, ending with their withdrawal from people, and social connection. Whether due to illness, trauma, surgery, accident, PTSD, depression, aging, or circumstance, the person living in social isolation increases the risk to their health. But this disorder can afflict anyone, so it's all they share in common, right? – or is it? LessAlone.org is designed to bring people together – although anonymously – who share one thing in common; they would benefit fro....

Social Isolation Growing in U.S., Study Says

Report in 2006 is even more true today

By: Shankar Vedantam

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Americans are far more socially-isolated today than they were two decades ago, and a sharply-growing number of people say they have no one in whom they can confide, according to a comprehensive new evaluation into the decline of social ties in the United States.A quarter of Americans say they have no one with whom they can discuss personal troubles, more than double the number who were similarly isolated in 1985. Overall, the number of people Americans have in their closest circle of confidants has dropped from around three to about two.The comprehensive new study paints a sobering picture of an increasingly fragmented America, where intimate social ties -- once seen as an integral part of daily life and associated with a host of psychologi....

Being Alone vs. Being Lonely

The Psychological Effects Of Social Isolation On The Human Species

By: Lizette Borreli

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We have all been alone, felt alone, or both, at some point in our lives. A lifestyle change such as moving to a new location or starting a new job can produce feelings of solitude, and impact our health in several ways. In the BrainCraft video, “Why Do We Feel Lonely?”, host Vanessa Hill explains the differences between being alone and being lonely, and the effects social isolation can have on our mind, body, and longevity.There are people who feel lonely who are alone, and there are those who choose to be alone who are not necessarily lonely. A 2007 study, published in the journal Genome Biology, found loneliness could be in our genes. The team of researchers discovered a distinct pattern of gene expression in immune cells in p....



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