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.
See Our Mission in Action
A community in which all older adults are connected, valued and loved.
Our network of volunteers is an integral part of our vision, bringing friendship to older adults across Minnesota through social interactions, and more.
We are connecting older Minnesotans through one-to-one companionship, friendship, special events, referrals, and advocacy.
Why focus on loneliness and social isolation?
As people age, most have a built-in family or financial support system. 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.
Loneliness and isolation negatively affect older adult’s health and pose significant costs to our community.
Isolated Older Adults are:
At greater risk of many health problems, including dementia, arthritis, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, and chronic lung disease.
More prone to falls, malnourishment, and mortality from many causes.
More likely to require nursing home care, at a cost of between $88,000 and $97,000 per year on average in the Twin Cities.
of older adults in Hennepin and Ramsey counties live alone..
of older persons describe themselves as chronically lonely.
Sources: U.S. Census and AARP survey
You can help us end loneliness and isolation in Minnesota
Please help us identify isolated older adults in Minnesota, age 65 years and older, in your community. Encourage them to join one of our programs, and if need be, send them to us as a referral.
Our organization was founded by a French nobleman, Armand Marquiset, in 1946 as Little Brothers of the Poor.
At the end of the World War II, Armand formed Les petits frères des Pauvres (little brothers of the Poor) to serve isolated and lonely older persons who had lost their families in the war.
“The greatest poverty,” he often said, “is the poverty of love,” which is reflected in the motto, “flowers before bread.”
His powerful example attracted many followers in France and quickly spread across the globe, becoming La Fédération Internationale des petits frères des Pauvres.
The Twin Cities Chapter of Little Brothers of the Poor first opened its doors on March 15, 1972. Now known as Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly (LBFE), we continue the mission that is shared by member organizations in nine countries throughout the world and seven chapters in the U.S.