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Promoting Healthy Aging Through Social Connection

"Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty."
- Mother Teresa

Research shows that social connection is critical to the health and well-being of Americans over sixty-five.  And yet, approximately one quarter are considered to be socially isolated.  The health impact of social isolation is as significant as high blood pressure, obesity, and lack of exercise, resulting in as much as a fifty percent increase in early mortality.  Groups of older people at particular risk for social isolation include those who are unpartnered, live alone, lack a reliable source of transportation, have limited English proficiency, care for disabled family members, or lack information about or access to available community resources.

While awareness of this issue needs to be improved, there are model programs and effective solutions that can ameliorate social isolation and help older adults stay active, remain socially engaged and have a sense of meaning in their lives.  However, innovation is still greatly needed.  If we make community social programs more available, more accessible, more culturally relevant and more welcoming, we will help foster social connections and improve the quality-of-life of our community's most detached and vulnerable elders. 


The Joseph & Vera Long Foundation seeks to support organizations that provide seniors with opportunities for productive engagement and social connection and that develop effective solutions to the issue of social isolation.  By funding effective programs and promoting innovation, we hope that an increased number of low-income seniors living in their own homes become more socially connected, supported, and engaged in their communities, leading to improved health and well-being.

Grants will be made for:

  • Program Costs

  • Capacity Building

  • Subsidized Access to Services

  • Capital Improvements

Populations targeted: 

  • Seniors (65+) at risk of social isolation

Examples of the types of programs that we are looking to support include:​

  • Senior Volunteering

  • Transportation & Technology Facilitation

  • Community Social & Educational Programs

  • In-Home Visits

  • Telephone Support

  • Peer Group Support

​Preference will be given to organizations that emphasize measurable effectiveness, have diverse funding streams, and demonstrate a commitment to promoting health equity.

To submit a grant application for the Promoting Healthy Aging Through Social Connection grant program, please follow the process outlined on the Apply page.

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