"Real" Social Network Investments Pay Big Dividends

Printer-friendly version

photo: NPR

Family Caregiver Alliance

A recent radio segment on NPR entitled, Boomer Housemates Have More Fun, sounds frivolous but actually addresses an important looming issue: how do we create mutual support communities for single men and women who are growing older? About a third of baby boomers are living alone, and for many the expense, isolation and lack of networks of extended family and friends can be a challenge. Shared housing, whether in individual homes or apartments as well as co-housing developments, are paving the way towards creating intentional communities. All share a common characteristic of proximity that encourages interaction.

Social isolation often leads to poor health and can be considered a risk factor for older adults. Perhaps we all should expand our thinking about our “retirement investments” to include investing in building our social networks too.

Listen to NPR's full radio story.