Recent studies have shown that over 40 percent of older adults will experience loneliness. The rise of depression and loneliness in seniors is at an all time high.
Seniors are having feelings of disconnect with their families and society and this can have big impacts on their physical and emotional health. Researchers say that having feelings of loneliness and isolation is as damaging to one’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Not only does loneliness put someone at risk for a cognitive decline but it also has the potential risk of having a stroke, becoming obese or developing Alzheimer’s disease. A study in the Health Psychology showed that seniors who were having feelings of loneliness were complaining 35 % more about severe symptoms than those who did not experience loneliness.
Symptoms of loneliness are often hidden so it’s hard to be diagnosed. Seniors are not talking about their feelings and it is rarely discussed. Addressing this topic with seniors requires professionals and care takers to ask certain types of questions that will allow them to determine if a senior is experiencing these feelings or not. Listen and understand what a patient is needing and make sure to pay attention for signs and symptoms of social isolation.Make sure that your loved one is getting the proper care professional and is asked important questions.
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