Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly (LBFE) is a volunteer-based organization committed to alleviating isolation and loneliness among the elderly while promoting their independence and well-being. We provide home visits, social engagement, intergenerational activities and holiday meals, in addition to advocacy, referrals and support.
Our vision is: Older adults are a valued, integral and connected part of our community.
Our mission is: Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly is a national network of non-profit volunteer-based organizations committed to relieving isolation and loneliness among the elderly. We offer to people of goodwill the opportunity to join the elderly in friendship and celebration of life. Learn about our mission in action.
As people age, most automatically have a support system, whether it’s a caring family or a healthy financial nest egg, or both. But those who don’t are at greater risk of isolation and loneliness and often slip through the cracks in getting their basic physical, social and emotional needs met.
LBFE identifies isolated adults in the Twin Cities age 65 years and older, providing social connectedness that fosters their independence and quality of life in the community so they may age in place.
According to 2012 projections from the 2010 U.S. Census, approximately 30%, or 61,500 of the more than 205,000 persons age 60 and older living in Hennepin and Ramsey counties, live alone. While living alone is not the same as feeling lonely or isolated, it does put elders at greater risk. In fact, more than a third of respondents in a 2010 AARP survey described themselves as chronically lonely.
Loneliness and isolation among our older population poses the following concerns to the community:
- Loneliness negatively affects health.
- Isolated elders often lack the social skills and capacity needed to form healthy relationships and community connections.
- Isolated elders are at greater risk of all forms of abuse, including physical, emotional, financial and self-neglect.
- Elders who are isolated are at greater health and safety risk in their homes, often requiring that they move into assisted living earlier on average than those with stronger community connections.
While LBFE's mission of alleviating isolation is simple, our impact on the community is profound.
In fiscal year 2015, LBFE served a total of 681 Twin Cities elders, providing 12,211 personal, one-on-one contacts demonstrating compassion and bringing hope and joy.
LBFE maintains two core program areas with numerous services within each area:
- Visiting and Advocacy
Our visiting and advocacy services support isolated older adults by helping them strengthen their formal and informal support networks, reduce safety risks and increase their independence. Learn more here.
- Social Engagement
Our thoughtfully planned social activities enhance elder well-being through a holistic approach that helps fulfill their physical, emotional and spiritual needs in a group or community setting. Learn more here.
LBFE is a secular, independent 501(c)3 organization and is totally dependent on donor support.