Did you know that loneliness harms the health of older people? Lonely older people are less resistant to disease because excessive isolation weakens the immune and endocrine systems
There are reasons to get away from others by their own will: because people cause you less positive feelings, because you are calmer when you are alone or even because you are going through a phase of anger or sadness.
However, in general, there is a need for another type of company and to feel loved, supported, and there are those who love you well and give you care and attention. The human being is an animal social being and, as much as he likes to be alone, he needs to belong to a group or someone.
However, many older people are ignored by their relatives, being virtually abandoned. Loneliness weakens older people because they become more unhappy and anxious. These more negative moods can even lead to death.
Loneliness makes older people more prone to disease
Do you see it too tragic? But it’s true, not just a theory. The explanation is scientific and quite rational. Unhappiness and increased stress are related to hypertension and the onset of cardiovascular and neurological diseases.
When loneliness has these harmful effects on the elderly, it is called “evil loneliness.” This problem affects at least 10% of the elderly population.
It can manifest itself in both the physical and psychological fields. This loneliness has symptoms similar to chronic stress, which affects the functioning of the endocrine and immune systems, leaving the body more weakened. A weaker organism, as is known, is more vulnerable to diseases.
The most common diseases in the case of loneliness are hypertension, diabetes, anxiety and depression. In old age, this whole situation reaches a more serious proportion. The elderly naturally have weaker defense mechanisms. So, as stated, defenses are weaker and the immune system is even more compromised.
How to avoid loneliness in the elderly population
Therefore, there are specialists who defend, for example, Dr. Manuel Martin Carrasco, of the Institute of Psychiatric Research, who should pay close attention to this problem. It is urgent to bet on the social life of the elderly because social life is directly related to the quality of life. An old man who is always surrounded by people and knows that he has those who love him close and care about him, will live longer and better.
It is for this reason that more and more organizations devote their attention to the elderly. Volunteers around the world try to cheer up the elderly who face loneliness, as well as face other natural problems of old age. These actions aim to change statistics that report that the majority of the elderly population feels lonely. Ensuring some daily physical contact is essential so that you do not feel these horrible effects of loneliness.
Giving social support to an elderly person is not always easy. An older person who has been unsociable during his life, whether due to trauma or difficulty in bonding, will have more difficulty establishing relationships with new friends than an older person who has had the ability to communicate throughout his life.
Ideally, give a more personalized treatment to the elderly, with the support of professionals in the field of psychology and psychiatry. But if this is not possible, the company of older people will already be of great help to improve their health and, therefore, their life.
Do you know any older person who needs company? How about visiting it, having a coffee and chatting with him?
Tell in the comments the best ways to help older people get out of isolation. And don’t forget to share the article to warn everyone that loneliness is something very serious.