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Combating Isolation & Loneliness In The Elderly Population

Thankfully, the average life expectancy of men and women in the Western world is as high as it has ever been before due to medical innovation and discoveries for the most part.

Far from now entirely eradicated diseases being the cause of death in older people, one of the biggest modern killers is loneliness and the ensuing depression and ill-health as a result. With that being said, here are some key ways and means of combating isolation and loneliness in older people. 

The Statistics

First and foremost, if you are interested in this topic, either from a professional perspective or as a member of the public who wants to fight and eradicate isolation among older people, it would be helpful to become aware of the statistics.

In the United States alone, from a national poll conducted by the University of Michigan, it was found that one in three adults over the age of seventy reported regular feelings of loneliness, and one in four adults said they lack companionship and meaningful connection in their life. 

Senior Living Communities

One of the most effective ways to transform the daily life of an older adult who has neither a close social circle nor family members who live nearby is to start a conversation centered around what can be changed in order for them to start loving their life again. 

Senior living communities provide a host of senior care options to cater to the differing and changing needs of older adults. However, much more pertinent is the emphasis on an active social life, including physical activities and bonding movie nights aplenty. 

The Family’s Role

It is not always the case for every older person that they have a large and loving circle of close family members around them who are constantly calling over to see them and enquiring about their physical and emotional well-being. 

Moreover, even if the individual does have family living nearby, it is not a legal requirement for family members to factor in a daily visit to their aging loved one as a regular occurrence. However, the aforementioned study also found that those older people who do receive regular visits, notes, and phone calls from their family members report a much higher level of personal fulfillment and subsequent happiness. 

Mental Health

Even in the most complex of medical situations, and even when an individual has had far more than their fair share of hardships and personal tragedies, there is still a certain amount of responsibility on the individual to make changes to their life to improve it. 

However, chronic isolation and loneliness not only negatively affects the physical health and well-being of older adults but also their mental well-being, too, which results in an ability to break out of their situation and make a change. 

This is why you have a social and moral responsibility to visit any older adult in your life, whether that be a neighbor, a close friend, or a family member who spends inordinate amounts of time on their own (and not of their own volition).

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