Around 25% of adults over 65 feel chronic loneliness. It’s essential to keep an eye on a common issue that impacts seniors, widowers, and empty nesters: Loneliness.
Loneliness might not seem like an immediate issue, but it can turn into a tragic one if it continues long-term. This guide will cover how to identify loneliness in seniors, as well as some tips to help you assist the seniors in your life.
Why Seniors Get Lonely
Seniors are more likely to live alone. This is usually due to a deceased spouse or lack of attention from their immediate family members. For example, taking care of your parents when they are old is incredibly important because they may not have anyone else to help them out.
Seniors are also more likely to experience hearing loss and chronic illness, making it harder for them to socialize and prevent loneliness from setting in.
Why Loneliness Is Dangerous
Unfortunately, loneliness in the elderly often leads to various health issues, both physical and mental. Living alone is usually a key cause of loneliness, but that’s not the only physical risk involved.
Being alone on a regular basis makes it harder for seniors to receive health in the event of an emergency. Additionally, if no one is around to notice warning signs of potential illnesses, the seniors are more likely to endure the illness until it’s too late to treat it.
Loneliness also increases the chance that a senior will develop dementia, which is a debilitating memory-loss disease. A lack of social connections also leads to an increased chance of depression, heart disease, and stroke.
Signs of Loneliness in Seniors
Identifying loneliness requires patience and understanding because not all indications are overtly obvious. Keep an eye out for these major signs of loneliness affecting a senior in your life.
If a senior in your life is endlessly trying to contact you, they’re probably lonely. If you notice this, take some time to visit them and have deep conversations.
If possible, schedule a weekly call with them if you can’t commit to in-person visits. Sometimes, a regular in-depth conversation is all it takes to help ease loneliness in the elderly.
Seniors who are starting to experience loneliness will act restless and full of energy. This means they are craving socialization. If you notice this sign, play a game or go for a walk with them. These are social tasks that will also ease their overly-active energy levels.
Lack of Appetite
A lack of appetite is a serious warning sign that usually impacts seniors who have been lonely for a while. If you notice a senior in your life losing an excessive amount of weight or simply not eating, help them immediately.
Spot the Signs Early
Since there are a variety of reasons why seniors get lonely, it’s vital to keep an eye on any seniors in your life. By noticing the signs of loneliness in seniors early on, you may prevent an easily avoidable heartbreak down the line.
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