Research shows that a shocking percentage of seniors who should be receiving assisted living care are instead living at home, which may be beneficial to their emotional well-being. Furthermore, they frequently reside alone. To learn more, continue reading.
According to research published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science, loneliness can have the same fatal effects as smoking and being overweight. Isolation among the elderly has been linked to a worsening of health problems, the promotion of unhealthful behaviours, and negative effects on mental function.
- Isolation contributes to unhealthy patterns of behaviour in the elderly. The American Psychological Association reports that people who live alone are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviours. Seniors who live alone are more likely to engage in risky behaviours like smoking, drinking excessively, and ignoring the need for regular exercise. In contrast, having a strong social network might motivate elderly people to make healthy choices like eating right and getting regular exercise.
- Seniors who live alone have more trouble maintaining a healthy diet. The elderly may be less inclined to consume well-balanced meals due to diminished appetites, prescription side effects, and physical changes.
- Alzheimer’s disease is more likely to strike people who are lonely. The Rush Institute for Healthy Aging found that isolation increases the likelihood of cognitive impairment. According to the results, elderly people living alone had a roughly twofold increase in their likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease, and their rate of cognitive deterioration was also higher. The study stated that this could be because people living alone are less likely to disclose their symptoms of illness before the sickness has progressed, or because they are less likely to have contact with others.
- Loneliness is stressful because it leads to isolation. University of Chicago researchers found that lonely people, especially the elderly, had “substantially higher” blood pressure and stress levels.
Statistics show that elder abuse increases in places where residents are isolated from one another. Scammers and financial abusers target the elderly because they are more vulnerable. When an elderly person is neglected, it is often not observed because it is one of the less common forms of elder abuse. Without a reliable family member to confide in, seniors may fail to report physical violence and may even shield their attackers.