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The effects of loneliness in seniors

Elderly man sitting alone with a book looking at a water scenery.

Loneliness presents a major health risk for seniors. Data from Statistics Canada found that nearly 25% of seniors live alone. Loneliness has been associated with negative health consequences including heart problems, decreased memory, depression, and higher stress. It can also lead to an increased risk of premature death, decreased quality of sleep, and decreased immune function. Although many seniors want to age at home, they can become lonely without a spouse or family members. A national survey conducted by AARP found that 1 in 3 seniors lack regular companionship while 1 in 4 seniors feel isolated from others sometimes.

Numerous factors can cause loneliness in seniors. One of these is a decrease in mobility which can prevent them from leaving the house. This can limit a senior’s ability to attend social activities or family functions. Another is an inability to drive or driving cessation. This can be associated with a decrease in out-of-home activities. Finally, having family that lives far away can greatly increase loneliness as a family is the foundation of support.

There are several ways that seniors can escape isolation. The main one is taking initiative. Consider finding a new hobby, volunteering, or doing an activity you enjoy. These are good ways to meet new people and get out of the house. You can also try reaching out to family members or friends that you haven’t spoken to in a while.

You can book caregivers through the Boom Health app for you or your loved one to provide companionship and assist with activities of daily living. Boom Health also provides a vetted transportation service that can take you or your loved one where they need to be. Check out the app on the App Store or Google Play Store.

Statistics Canada

This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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