Weaving companionship into health care as we would a blockbuster drug can help us circumvent expensive healthcare services like emergency department visits and hospitalizations.
Surgeon General said it best, Loneliness has profound consequences for our health—both our mental and our physical health But factors like loneliness and social isolation don’t always fit the mold for traditional health care.
We’re taught to think in terms of symptoms and how we can treat them for what they are. We receive antibiotics for infections, decongestants for colds, pain medication for a sprained ankle—and for more chronic conditions, a slew of daily or weekly pills that can manage hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
But what’s the prescription for social connection and community? Is it possible to reduce the risk of some chronic conditions entirely by taking a closer look at the external factors that drive them?
Increasingly, non-medical interventions are being prescribed the same way as antibiotics, pain relievers, and beta-blockers.