On Tuesday, the South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health, in partnership with the state Department on Aging, released a report outlining the state of loneliness and isolation among South Carolina’s seniors.

Its conclusions are what IMPH Director Maya Pack hopes will be a wakeup call to residents, government leaders, and the healthcare field to pay close attention to the effects of being alone late in life.

“Social connection is a major health determinant that is not typically discussed,” Pack says. “There is substantial evidence that shows a strong correlation between social isolation and major physical and mental health challenges and their associated costs.”

According to the report, geography, disability, and socioeconomic status are major factors influencing senior isolation.

Read the full story by Scott Morgan here.