engAGED: The National Resource Center for Engaging Older Adults, is a national effort to increase social engagement among older adults through a variety of activities. Administered by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) and funded by the U.S. Administration on Aging, which is part of the Administration for Community Living, engAGED identifies and disseminates information about emerging trends, resources and replication strategies that the Aging Network can customize for use in their communities. engAGED will also develop a national strategy for educating and informing the Aging Network about innovative social engagement approaches and programming targeted toward older adults.
Why we are focused on social engagement
Recently much has been learned about the individual and collective impact of social isolation and loneliness. Social isolation is commonly described as based on objective indicators, such as a lack of relationships or infrequent social contact while loneliness is defined as the subjective perception of being alone. Research suggests that remaining socially engaged improves the quality of life for older adults and is associated with better health. In addition, older adults who are socially engaged in their communities can share their knowledge, talent, skills, experience and wisdom, having a positive and powerful impact on their communities. Social engagement contributes to greater physical, mental and emotional health and well-being in older adults, avoiding the negative impacts of social isolation and loneliness.
As the national dialogue on the impact of social isolation grows, many are beginning to analyze ways to address social isolation, particularly for older adults. engAGED will develop and promote resources that help individuals and communities increase social engagement opportunities and the size of social networks, to address the root causes of social isolation and loneliness.