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 elders through home visits, social engagement, shared holiday meals, and more.
LBFE’s impact in 2017
We connect elders to community through one-to-one volunteer companionship, 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 elder health and pose significant costs to our community. Isolated elders 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 the Twin Cities
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.
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.