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The Villages
Saturday, June 15, 2024

Florida lawmakers introduce measure to combat loneliness among seniors

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, a member of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio have introduced the Social Engagement and Network Initiatives for Older Relief (SENIOR) Act to address senior loneliness.

n Florida and across the country, a growing number of senior citizens are suffering from mental and physical health issues, largely driven by an epidemic of loneliness. Despite public health officials sounding the alarm, the issue has not yet been addressed through any major legislation. 

“Florida has a wonderful senior population that contributes so much to our great state. Combatting the feeling of isolation and loneliness for our aging community has endless benefits – from better mental and physical health to stronger, multigenerational relationships with families and communities. I’m proud to lead this bill with Senator Rubio to better support our seniors,” Scott said.

The SENIOR Act would:

  • Promote programs that combat loneliness and support community integration for seniors by adding “loneliness” to the definition of “disease prevention and health promotion services” under the Older Americans Act.
  • Direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to prepare a report on the impacts of loneliness on seniors and propose solutions for identified impacts; 
  • Through the report, analyze the relationship between the strength of multigenerational family units, loneliness, and seniors. 

 The SENIOR Act is supported by the National Council on Aging, Coalition to End Social Isolation and Loneliness, Senior Resource Alliance, and Centerstone.

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