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When asked to think about the issues that most commonly affect the senior and elderly population, it is natural to respond with advanced conditions such as heart failure, dementia, stroke or other health issues. However, what many people do not consider are the health risks that are associated with loneliness.
Over the past decade, many studies have been conducted to determine just how much feeling alone can affect a senior or older adult’s health. Studies show loneliness can lead to feelings of depression and can often make a senior feel less motivated to complete daily activities. For instance, a senior may omit personal hygiene or stop preparing and eating regular meals. The results can range from poor hygiene to much more serious issues such as malnutrition.
A senior may also be lonely even if he or she has family and friends nearby. In some cases, a senior may feel as if they are a burden to those close to them, and would prefer to keep to him or herself. Unfortunately, the result of this can be feelings of sadness, helplessness and a lack of self-worth. To combat such feelings, it’s important for friends and family to visit their loved one just to say hello, and not for a specific cause such as to take the loved one grocery shopping. This can help the senior feel less like a burden. Getting help from a professional hourly caregiver in Redondo Beach can also be of assistance. Because seniors often feel like it is a caregiver job to help, they can better accept the help, and will also benefit from the companionship that the caregiver provides.
Studies have also shown that seniors diagnosed with heart disease are more likely to pass from the condition if they are also suffering from loneliness. While it seems simple to conclude that stress associated with loneliness would worsen a pre-existing heart condition, this is not the only scenario where loneliness can further increase the negative effects of an age-related condition. Through various case studies, it has been shown that loneliness can affect seniors with dementia, leading to a faster decline in condition and progression of the disease.
Through understanding of the importance of senior loneliness and its effects on the elderly, we can help our senior loved ones live a healthier, happier life. To learn more about ensuring the wellbeing of an aging parent or loved one, visit our website at www.homecareassistanceredondobeach.com or call us directly at 310-504-0506 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.