Loneliness is on the rise: What you can do to stop it
ORLANDO, Fla. – Everyone feels isolated sometimes, but new research shows loneliness in older Americans is on the rise. Here’s what you can do to stop it.
For many, being older has its perks. You have more time to yourself. But all that time alone can make some folks, well, lonely. A new report found loneliness is on the rise in the US, and one in three Americans over age 45 is lonely. That’s more than 48 million lonely older people.
Richard S. Schwartz, MD, psychiatrist, told Ivanhoe, “The effect of social isolation and loneliness on our health is as powerful as things like smoking, high blood pressure, obesity.”
The study showed people who were married, had sex regularly, and were in good physical and mental health were less likely to be lonely. Some other ways to combat loneliness; maintain a large and diverse social network, contact your friends and family members frequently, and join a community or religious group.
“It is like that Nike slogan just do it. Don’t think about it, just do it. You know, call somebody up and invite them to do something with you,” explained Rev. Bradford Clark.
But don’t rely on social media to keep in touch with friends. Frequently interacting with acquaintances online seemed to moderately increase a person’s risk of feeling isolated.
There is some good news: The study found the loneliness factor does seem to taper off once you reach a certain age. Forty-six percent of adults ages 45 to 49 were considered lonely compared to just 24 percent of those older than 70.
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