Introduction

The dramatic increase in average life expectancy is one of the society's greatest achievements during the 20th century. With unprecedented number and rate of growth of older population, the world is entering uncharted waters. Societal changes brought about by population ageing and increasing longevity have far-reaching impact on the older persons themselves, their households and neighbourhoods.

Loneliness and social isolation are now recognized as major social issues. They can arise at any age, and older persons are particularly vulnerable. Loneliness is associated with numerous negative health consequences including poor mental health. In fact, it is one of the main factors leading to depression and other hazards. Family and social support are the potential solutions in eradicating loneliness and social isolation, with profound impact on elderly mental wellness.

The Symposium brings together world renowned speakers to share cutting edge knowledge, insights, and experiences on the topic. We will discuss the impact of loneliness, what dimensions of social connections are relevant in practice and research, and the role of filial piety and community engagement in mental health of older persons. It is part of the "JC JoyAge: Jockey Club Holistic Support Project for Elderly Mental Wellness" project initiated and funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust.