SARASOTA - Loneliness is an epidemic among seniors according to a study conducted by the University of California.

“We know as a society that isolation and loneliness are really epidemic. They say 70 percent of people who report feeling isolated or lonely experience early signs of dementia," says McLeod.

She adds getting involved senior community outreach programs is an effective way to overcome loneliness.

SFC member Betty Larson finds ways to keep her social schedule despite a recent stroke and not driving.

“I use SCAT. Well it’s been wonderful because it gives me something to do,"says Larson.

McLeod says it’s crucial our elderly community to feel as though their lives have meaning and purpose.

Long time SFC member Pat James says the benefits from socializing at the center are invaluable.

"Any of you that want to contribute to help loneliness in older help please see that they get to come here and enjoy the fellowship the activities music all the time. They would enjoy being here and just seeing other people and just talking," says James.

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