We as human beings are living longer, and the prevalence of loneliness and isolation among the elderly increases. Is it inevitable?
We are a supposedly civilised society, yet many of our elderly live with virtually no communication with others for weeks on end. We assume they have contact with someone- don’t they?
At present 1 in 3 people over the age of 65 live alone in the UK. Statistics say this is set to increase by more than 50% in the next 25years. While some older adults choose to live alone, others may have no choice.
Loneliness increases the likelihood of mortality by 26%. Research shows that loneliness and social isolation are harmful to our health: lacking social connections is comparable risk factor for early death as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and is worse for us than well known risk factors such as obesity and physical inactivity.