Believe it or not, many elderly adults struggle with loneliness and depression. Studies have found that socially isolated elders are twice as likely to die prematurely. Loneliness is nearly twice as dangerous as obesity. This is why it is good for the elderly to try to stay as active as possible in whatever capacity they are able.
Loneliness can weaken your immune system and increase inflammation, leading to diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and other serious health conditions. As adults get older, the are less mobile and it becomes difficult to establish new relationships and interests. Loneliness tends to be caused by widowhood or when a spouse has been diagnosed with dementia or are chronically ill.
There are many different ways that one can prevent loneliness. Sometimes having pets can help the elderly adult feel like they have a sense of purpose again. Companionship through an agency or volunteer caregiver could help. They could help them get out and about which could decrease the feeling of loneliness Another way that loneliness can be prevented is by staying connected to family, friends and church members via phone regularly.
Many communities have local activities that an aging adult could participate in. Here, at Home Loving, we have an Adult Day Center that provides different activities the elder adults can do. Some of the activities include: gardening, ping-pong ball, watching shows/movies on the t.v. Local Senior Center’s, like the one in Kernersville have many different events year-round that keep seniors active in their community while having fun. Sometimes, an aging parent may need to move into an Independent Living facility to have activities readily available. Depression and loneliness do not have to be accepted as a part of aging. Help your aging parent, spouse or friend find meaning in their life again.