New York Times Opinion Piece by Professor Blackstone

Grow Old Like ‘The Golden Girls’

We can’t all depend on adult children to stave off loneliness.
College-style living — “minus the keg stands” — can help.

By Amy Blackstone
Dr. Blackstone is a sociologist.

June 7, 2019

The folklore of parenthood tells us that if we have children and invest the requisite time, money and love, we can avoid a life of loneliness in our old age. But having children is no guarantee.

Census data show that approximately 85 percent of American women over the age of 50 have children. And yet 43 percent of older people feel lonely, according to a study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco. Some call loneliness a public health crisis; others say it poses a greater threat than obesity. Research shows that among older adults, loneliness is a predictor of functional decline and death.

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