Community leaders, policy experts, researchers and change agents gathered today for MPTFs (Motion Picture & Television Fund) 2nd Annual Social Isolation and Loneliness Impact Summit. The event took place at MPTF’s Wasserman Campus in Woodland Hills.
The Summit featured presentations and workshops where experts shared key insights, best practices and conducted discussions about ways to effectively collaborate to create meaningful changes throughout Los Angeles. Paul Cann, co-founder of the U.K. Campaign to End Loneliness, delivered the keynote address with special presentations by Carla M. Perissinotto, M.D., associate professor of Geriatrics at University of California San Francisco and Lynda Flowers, J.D., M.S.N., R.N., senior policy advisor at AARP Public Policy Institute. Community leaders representing a variety of Los Angeles based organizations led conversations addressing loneliness and social isolation in the transportation, education, intergenerational services and housing arenas.
“Meaningful social connections are a critical component of good health and well-being,” said Scott Kaiser, M.D., chief innovation officer and practicing geriatrician at MPTF. “Chronic isolation and loneliness have profound negative impacts on health, quality of life, and even, mortality. With this summit, we’re bringing together key stakeholders to raise the profile of this issue and share ways we can intervene to mitigate these adverse effects.”
“AARP Foundation is committed to ending isolation in older adults,” said Lisa Marsh Ryerson, president, AARP Foundation. “We are delighted to collaborate with MPTF to create a deeper understanding of isolation and loneliness, drawing much-needed attention to these issues, and to identify solutions that foster social connections older adults need to live well and thrive.”
Social isolation and loneliness are recognized as a growing epidemic and a critical health concern in the aging and disabled populations. Mounting evidence links social isolation and loneliness to poor health, depression, disability and increased risk of death. Since the 1980s, the percentage of American adults who say they are lonely has doubled from 20 percent to 40 percent. Approximately one-third of Americans over 65 live alone, as do half of those over age 85. Recent studies find that individuals with fewer social connections have disrupted sleep patterns, higher levels of stress hormones, altered immune systems and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Research shows that the negative health consequences of chronic isolation and loneliness, while harmful at any age, are especially so for older adults. One recent study (Holt-Lunstad, 2015) found that the health risks of prolonged isolation are equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes per day.
Last year, MPTF launched the Daily Call Sheet – a volunteer-driven telephone outreach program to combat social isolation and loneliness among entertainment industry members and their families. Funded with the support of AARP Foundation, MPTF’s Daily Call Sheet is a scalable and replicable program that can be shared with other social services organizations throughout Los Angeles and beyond.
MPTF’s Annual Social Isolation and Loneliness Impact Summit is one of the many ways that the organization is committed to taking care of its own. Other activities and events include MPTF’s Deal With It: A Women’s Conference, an annual summit to empower women in entertainment, Annual Health & Fitness Day, an annual festival focused on living and aging well, and the Daily Call Sheet, a volunteer-driven telephone outreach program to combat social isolation and loneliness among entertainment industry members and their families.
About MPTF (Motion Picture & Television Fund)
MPTF (Motion Picture & Television Fund) supports the entertainment community in living and aging well, with dignity and purpose, and in helping each other in times of need. What began more than 96 years ago as the Motion Picture Relief Fund has flourished into MPTF, a comprehensive service organization that remains at the core of the entertainment industry.
MPTF belongs to everyone in the entertainment business and its successes are embodied in the spirit of stepping up and giving back. With the engagement and generosity of thousands of people from within the entertainment industry community, MPTF serves thousands in the entertainment community each year with financial assistance, social services, and retirement living.
The entertainment industry has a longtime history of taking care of its own like no other industry in the world. People are at the heart of what MPTF does each day, and it is the extraordinary generosity of countless donors, families, and volunteers that enables the organization to deliver services to industry members in need.
To learn more, visit www.mptf.com, www.Facebook.com/mptf, www.Twitter.com/mptf, Instagram: @MPTF