When a friend of his retired as a college professor, Robert Bornstein noticed that the man started to become lonely. The professor, who wasn't married, had depended on his work friends as his social circle, but when those connections start to slip away, he had no one to fill the void.
Some friends encouraged him to work for a local politician running for re-election. That changed everything, and the professor became more social, Bornstein says. "This formerly isolated retiree became a regular fixture at the local diner, conversing with friends over lunch several times each week."