Loneliness in seniors is more than just an occasional source of melancholy. In fact, it can actually accelerate a decline in health, according to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
One in three seniors experience loneliness, which is noted by a feeling of isolation or not belonging, the study found. Of that number, a high percentage also experience a marked decline in health and function.
The Clare recognizes this as a serious problem and has strategies in place to head off loneliness for our residents before it begins.
The Effects of Loneliness
The seniors who participated in the study were monitored over a six-year period. During that time, researchers found that about 43% of the surveyed adults reported feeling lonely at least some of the time. Of that cohort, 59% had a greater risk of suffering a decline in function. Meanwhile, 23% died over the course of the six-year study, compared with 14% of the participants who weren’t lonely.
Loneliness in seniors bears several other consequences, as well, including:
– Cognitive decline and risk of dementia
– Greater vulnerability to elder abuse
– High blood pressure
– Need for long-term care, like skilled nursing
At home, combatting loneliness may be a challenge. You might need to rely on others for transportation to and from events and activities. Online interaction seems promising, but it removes the face-to-face, in-person experience. A move to a senior living community, though, stands to help fight loneliness in seniors, allowing them to enjoy a more robust, vibrant lifestyle.
Connecting at The Clare
The Clare has created dozens of natural opportunities for residents to connect and interact with one another. With activities like art classes, group fitness and social events, there’s never a shortage of things to do at our community—or people who participate alongside you. The Clare also facilitates unique opportunities outside of our community.
The Clare is keenly aware that loneliness in seniors poses its own challenges. That’s why we’re committed to giving our residents options for prevention and addressing those moments when loneliness does occur.