The Critical Role of CCM in America's Loneliness Epidemic

Loneliness is often an unforeseen side effect for many patients with chronic diseases. As their illness takes a toll on them physically and emotionally, it can reduce their mobility and sociability, causing them to become isolated. Isolation often leads to loneliness, placing them at an even higher risk of physical and mental conditions such as heart disease, obesity, anxiety, depression, Alzheimer's disease, and more.

With chronic illness already straining the American healthcare system, chronic care management (CCM) services such as those Engooden provides are uniquely positioned to mitigate the impact of this loneliness epidemic by providing patients with human connections when they need it most.

The Health Effects of Loneliness
The adverse effects of loneliness are well researched and widely known. Human beings are naturally social, reliant on community and connection to thrive. When we lose that connection and become isolated, it causes stress signaling in our bodies which can damage our immune systems and cause inflammation, high blood pressure, and impair our cognitive abilities.

There are multiple specific ways that social isolation can threaten health. In patients over 50, social isolation can lead to:

  • 50% increased likelihood of dementia
  • 29% increased risk of heart disease
  • Rising rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide
  • Four times increased risk of death
  • 68% increased risk of hospitalization

Many elderly Americans face a heightened risk of loneliness, with the Administration for Community Living's Administration on Aging of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reporting that nearly a third of older adults in the United States live alone.

Human Connection is Healthcare
There is no one reason people become lonely. They might find themselves unexpectedly alone due to the death of a spouse or partner, separation from friends or family, retirement, loss of mobility, or a lack of transportation. First-generation immigrants often face language barriers or uncertainty in a new community, while LGBTQ+ populations experience more isolation because of stigma, discrimination, and barriers to care.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to addressing loneliness, but CCM is a proven solution for helping patients with chronic conditions maintain their health. Providers offering CCM can deliver patients regular human interaction beyond the clinic to identify factors influencing their health, such as loneliness. CCM not only addresses barriers to care such as diet and medication access but also emphasizes the social-emotional side by allowing patients to develop genuine connections with providers and caregivers.

Putting the Care in Chronic Care
Every day, Engooden's unique approach to chronic disease management alleviates the impact of loneliness on patients who need it most. We understand the power of human connection and use a multi-dimensional approach powered by people and enhanced by technology to deliver targeted outreach and interventions that uncover barriers that help ensure better care plan participation and patient outcomes.

Engooden identifies rising-risk and chronically ill patients and the factors influencing their health and intervenes when they need it to improve their health trajectories. Our care navigators help patients become active participants in their care and make a real difference for patients by establishing long-lasting connections. By dedicating as much time as necessary to help patients overcome loneliness and other factors impacting their wellbeing, we make a genuine difference in their lives.

One Engooden care navigator Stephanie says, "building relationships with patients has been the biggest part of my job. It's so important because you gain a window into their world once you gain that trust, and you can help them more. Not just physically but mentally as well."

Our compassionate, highly skilled care navigators are establishing a new standard of care for patients living with chronic conditions. This means showing patients they’re not alone and have someone in their corner giving them the support and healthcare they need to cope with their chronic illness.

Contact us today and discover how Engooden can help your most vulnerable patients improve their health and avoid becoming part of America's loneliness epidemic.