Reducing the Risks of Loneliness in the Elderly

How to reduce the risks of loneliness in the elderly?

Introduction

As we grow older, social isolation affects our physical and mental health.  Loneliness and isolation are severe problems for growing older adults that lead to depression and other mental illnesses, so it’s essential to know how to reduce the risks of loneliness in the elderly. 

Loneliness can be defined as a state in which a person feels a lack of companionship. So, it is essential to realize the factors that can lead to loneliness, especially when talking about people of elder age. 

Social Isolation and Loneliness 

Older people are less interested in mobiles, and they are away from their friends or people of their age. Moreover, in this group age, people also start to hear fewer losing senses a little bit and other kinds of physical limitations make it challenging to communicate. 

Therefore, social isolation and loneliness are significant factors of public health. It has severe effects on the mental and physical health of people. If you have elders in your house or know someone elder, you are willing to help them with their loneliness. Therefore, this article is focused on how to reduce the risk of loneliness in the elderly.

How to Reduce the Risk of Loneliness in the Elderly

According to research from the UK, there are more than 2 million people living in England who ages more than 75 years and live alone. Moreover, around one million older adults haven’t talked to their families: Neighbors or friends. 

A different reason for which older people might feel lonely, socially isolated, for example, they are getting older and weaker, or they no longer have control over their family, or because they are living alone or their spouses have left them, or they have left their workplace, or it might be because of any disability or illness. 

Here are some of the proactive steps you can take to reduce the risk of loneliness in the elderly. 

1. Make them active 

Older people start to feel less lonely if they are doing moderate exercise 4 to 5 times a week, which keeps them active. Being active keep them correlates with loneliness. There is a 6 to 9% increase rate of feelings like depressions, loneliness and anxiety in people who don’t exercise. 

2. Be in touch with them 

Talking almost solves all the problems, so having a call time or chat with the elderly and asking about their lives and situations is one of the best that you can do, even if you are far away.

Or the next best option we have is you can call The Silver Line, a helpline that is deliciated for the help of older people, Esther Rantzen sets up the service on 0800 4 70 80 90.

Or here are other helplines too:

  • Independent Age: 0800 319 6789
  • Age UK: 0800 055 6112
  • Friends of the Elderly: 0300 332 1110 

3. Smile 

Whenever you get a chance, or whenever you feel smile towards them, it’ll help bring up a conversation. So, grab every opportunity to make someone’s day beautiful or be a reason for someone’s happiness. If you are not the kind of person, who can start a conversation, ask the older people about themselves and their lives. 

4. Volunteer and Civic Engagement 

These communities and helping centers vary according to the area you live in. Join these engagement activities or make the elderly join those communities that will help them socialize and increase their communication with more people of the same age group. 

5. Go for an outing 

Don’t just wait for others to visit you, and an elder can also enjoy the travel or help them stay healthy and active. For older age people, public transport is of better value. So, please encourage them to have lunch, dinner and outings and make the most of their lives. 

Or if you know someone lonely, you can also invite them to restaurants and have quality time with them you can ask for their advice, life experiences and more. 

Effects of Loneliness on the Elderly

Prolonged social isolation, illness or loneliness are linked with different physical, psychological, and cognitive health issues. Here are some of the major problems mentioned:

  • Depression
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Anxiety
  • Substance use
  • Cognitive decline
  • Stroke
  • Cardiovascular disease 
  • Suicide thoughts and attempts
  • Premature death
  • Dementia

Conclusion

Whatever the reason is, it’s straightforward to feel left alone, which leads to a severe decline in physical and mental health and different states like depression, anxiety, and dementia. So, it also impacts the well-being of the person. And it’s important to realize that loneliness can affect any person of any age group.

FAQ’s

Causes in elderly which leads to depression and mental illness

Loneliness and isolation are severe problems for growing older adults that lead to depression and other mental illnesses.

10 common effects of loneliness on elderly

Depression
Hypertension
Obesity
Anxiety
Substance use
Cognitive decline
Stroke
Cardiovascular disease 
Suicide thoughts and attempts
Premature death

5 Steps to reduce the risks of loneliness in the eldelry.

1. Make them active 
2. Be in touch with them 
3. Smile towards them
4. Volunteer and Civic Engagement 
5. Go for an outing