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Together Apart: Findings from the Social Isolation Impact Summit

In July 2020, the Motion Picture and Television Fund (MPTF) and the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging convened the Social Isolation Impact Summit. We brought together experts in health and aging for one objective: to share innovative approaches and resources to address the realities of isolation and loneliness and the risks to older adults. 

Alongside a pandemic and racial unrest, social isolation is the other crisis. COVID has elevated awareness of this urgent public health issue. More than one in four adults aged 50 to 80 reported that they felt isolated even before the COVID outbreak. The costs of isolation to individuals, families, communities, and the broader society are massive and sadly under-reported. More attention has been needed for years, but the COVID pandemic has dramatically raised the stakes. 

But there is hope—and opportunity. Communities and organizations are taking action to implement interventions and promote social connection and support for those in need. The Social Isolation Impact Summit focused on innovative programs in California, but these promising practices can be effective in many places. This report summarizes the themes raised by Summit panelists: promoting social connection across diverse communities, intergenerational cohesion, and the mind-body connection.