The Health Risks of Loneliness Are Similar to The Risks Associated With Obesity Or Smoking
Researchers have recently documented the adverse consequences of loneliness on the health of mature adults. Seniors can experience isolation as the passing years limit their movement. Pegasus home caregivers strive to relieve the isolation and loneliness experienced by their clients.
What Is Loneliness?
Loneliness is a complicated emotion. It’s a feeling, not a physical condition, but it affects your physical health. You know exactly what loneliness is if you’ve experienced it.
Lonely people may feel:
For most individuals, the feelings are indescribable to someone who has never suffered from loneliness.
Isolation is generally a lack of social interaction with other people. You may choose to be alone because you’re happier that way. If you like to be with others, then isolation can lead to loneliness.
Loneliness is feeling as if you have no connection with others. You may feel lonely because you are all by yourself. Or you can be in the presence of others, but don’t have any meaningful interaction with them.
Sometimes you can get caught in a vicious cycle of depression, social isolation, and loneliness. Each condition can worsen the other two. The professionals at Encino home health care have the expertise to help you break that cycle.
What Causes Loneliness?
The underlying cause of loneliness is an inability to form intimate relationships with others. Social media aside, interacting with someone requires being with that person. Sometimes you just aren’t able to be with others.
There can be several reasons for this, including:
• No transportation
• Ill health
• Not knowing where to go
• Thinking you’re unwanted or don’t fit in
Seniors often become lonely when they retire and realize their social activities were centered around work friends.
What Are the Risks of Loneliness?
You may think that loneliness is just a part of getting older. After all, many of your friends and family members have passed on. There aren’t that many left to talk to or to do things with.
It’s important for your quality of life to overcome the belief that loneliness is inevitable. It isn’t. It might be difficult, but you can take up new activities and make new friends.
Psychologists know that humans need friendships. We are social animals. Loneliness negatively affects both physical and mental health.
Chronic loneliness leads to:
• Poor sleep
• Weakened immune system
• Excessive stress hormones
• Premature aging
• Difficulty thinking clearly
• Memory deficiencies
• Cardiovascular problems
• Other health problems
In short, lonely people tend to develop health issues that shorten their lives.
Home Care in Encino Helps Reduce the Risks of Loneliness
As well as seeing the smiling face of a person who cares about you, having a caregiver provides many other benefits. Encino home health care professionals provide companionship, but they’re also there to help you stay healthy and independent.
Any health issue that impairs your independence can lead to isolation and loneliness. Lonely seniors are at a higher-than-normal risk for suicide.
Having a caregiver helps you maintain healthy habits such as:
• Eating nutritious food
• Good hygiene
• Taking medications correctly
Good lifestyle habits enable you to feel better and socialize.
Even if you prefer to be alone, practicing healthy lifestyle habits aids in staying independent. For many people, be able to socialize with others reduces loneliness. Any activity that cheers you can improve your health.
Studies have shown that chronic loneliness has the same effect on your health as:
• Breathing toxic air
• Substance abuse
Those studies have also discovered cognitive decline in lonely individuals.
What Reduces Loneliness?
Encino home health care aides know how to listen to you in non-judgmental ways. They understand your concerns about aging and any infirmities you may have. Knowing that they sincerely care can make a huge difference in how you feel.
Loneliness can be a serious health issue. You need to deal with it just as you would other health problems. That usually means reaching out to others, including home caregivers.
Knowledgeable caregivers will never push you into activities you dislike. They can help you do things you enjoy. As you begin to feel better, they help you spend more time with friends and family.
If you are among the fortunate few who rarely experience loneliness, consider being there for others who are less fortunate. The theme of the 2017 World Suicide Prevention Day is “Take a minute, change a life.”
Ways in which you can “take a minute” include:
• Listen without judgment to someone who is struggling
• Support someone without diminishing their feelings
• Substitute personal contact for social media
• Plan non-stressful outings like a walk
• Say hello even if the other person is a stranger to you
It’s the little things that often lead to meaningful change.
Encino home health caregivers have the expertise to deal with a variety of mental and physical conditions. They have the compassion to replace isolation and loneliness with genuine caring. Their priority is helping you enjoy a high quality of life.