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Combating Social Isolation Requires a True System of Care

This wide-ranging article points out many of the causes and effects of social isolation. It has, of course, become much worse over the past month with our national quarantine. The piece is equally extensive in its review of how we might address these serious mental health issues.

The article begins with a story with deep resonance to those concerned with affordable housing and home design: a person with a disability forced to choose a home that she couldn’t enter or exit without being carried. So many of us with mobility impairments share a similar story, effectively being trapped in our own homes. This fact alone creates significant isolation in the best of times. In an inaccessible home, perhaps an individual can’t often leave the home, but at least people can visit. Now, under quarantine, the visitations are likely reduced to a bare minimum.

With so few universal or accessible homes in our communities, at any price point, we’ll continue to be faced with bad choices when we seek a place to live. Let’s start building homes at all price points, in all our communities, that will allow everyone safe, life-long living.

Another article on the effects of isolation on our older population as well as a few examples of programs that are addressing those needs illustrated in this New York Times piece.

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