Loneliness could be described as negative feelings brought on by a lack of adequate communication, relationships with others, and companionship. Feeling of depression and sadness associated with loneliness can be felt by people of all ages, but elderly people tend to be particularly vulnerable. Life after retirement often leaves seniors living alone or feeling isolated and left behind by their family and friends.
Thankfully there are ways to combat the loneliness; but first, let us explore some of the causes of loneliness in seniors.
Causes of Loneliness in Seniors
People who have entered the stage of retirement may miss the routine contact with colleagues, and the day-to-day process of getting ready to go out. Retirement can leave people feeling purposeless and unnecessary.
Loss of a Spouse
After the loss of a partner, chronic loneliness can set in. Because women tend to outlive men, senior women are left alone to cope with the loss of their partner. With little to no human interaction, no interest in eating by oneself, both nutrition and mental functioning tend to suffer.
Lack of Companionship
Growing older means elders will have to face the loss of relatives and friends who are passing away. Additionally, when friends move away or have restricted mobility, they may not be able to go out as often to visit their friends and family.
Poor Physical Health
Illness and disability can have a very negative effect on seniors, especially those who already feel helpless in their situation, making it even more challenging for them to socialize.
Location or Lack of Transport
Elderly relatives who live far from family and friends at a residential care home, or who live far apart due to jobs or family break ups can experience loneliness. Additionally, if senior relatives are unable to drive or travel for health or financial reasons, they will have fewer opportunities for social contact, which can make them feel isolated.
Financial burdens and setbacks can add to the stress of senior family members. If they are unable to leave the house as often as they would like because of their financial situation, they will have reduced opportunities to socialize.
Symptoms of Loneliness to Watch for in Your Elderly Loved Ones
It is extremely important to watch out for symptoms of loneliness in your elderly parents and loved ones. It does not happen overnight, and there are ways to combat the loneliness in seniors if the symptoms are spotted and dealt with early on. If you spot any of the following signs, make sure your relative gets the help and support they need immediately, so they can return to a happier state of life. Relatives should look out for:
- Aggravated aches and pains
- Lack of motivation and energy
- Sleep disturbances
- Memory problems
- Poor nutrition
- Feelings of worthlessness (body cues or verbalization)
TheCareGuide.com is an online repository of information and guidance for seniors and their families that has been providing insights into elder care and housing solutions since 1996. Our guide can be used to help determine the best living and housing options for you or your loved ones and can offer important advice on how to successful make the transition into a senior living arrangement. Seniors with loneliness should not be ignored, and we provide services to help your elderly loved one find happiness and comfort. More information and advice on senior care and living solutions can be found by contacting us at 1-800-311-CARE (2273) or email@example.com.