U.S. Surgeon General Murthy
on Cognitive Stimulation and Loneliness
In 2017, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy wrote in the Harvard Business Review, “During my years caring for patients, the most common pathology I saw was not heart disease or diabetes; it was loneliness,” noting that rates of loneliness in the United States have doubled since the 1980s.
Dr. Murthy called the condition “a growing health epidemic” and pointed to research showing that “loneliness and weak social connections are associated with a reduction in lifespan similar to that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes a day and even greater than that associated with obesity.”
More recently, in May of 2023, Dr. Murthy released a new Surgeon General Advisory “calling attention to the public health crisis of loneliness, isolation, and lack of connection in our country” and notes that “even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately half of U.S. adults reported experiencing measurable levels of loneliness.”
Evidence from longitudinal observational studies suggests that poor social networks or social disengagement are associated with cognitive decline and dementia. Volumes of research support the efficacy of cognitive stimulation. Fit Minds has supported thousands of seniors in Canada and the US with its cognitive stimulation programming since 2010.
I encourage you to learn more about Fit Minds. Together, we can help seniors be all they can be.