Loneliness in old age

We all get lonely sometimes, but the elderly are more vulnerable to social isolation and loneliness than most people. It’s a staggering fact, but data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that men over the age of 85 have the highest suicide rate in Australia. Research has shown that loneliness has a very real effect on our physical and mental health. Clear links have been made between loneliness and depression, development of dementia and having similar health impacts to obesity, alcoholism and smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

The Effects of Loneliness And Isolation On The Elderly

The current drive to help older people live at home for longer may be creating higher levels of isolation and loneliness for them. While the move to help our seniors remain in familiar surroundings for as long as possible is generally made with the best intentions, the focus on meeting their physical care – rather than their full range of social and health needs – can lead to negative side effects: The Effects of Loneliness and Isolation on the Elderly

Tackling Loneliness And Social Isolation For Older Australians

Loneliness and social isolation are a common experience among older people and can act as one of many factors that play a role in affecting mental health levels among seniors. For families with older relatives at home or in aged care, there are various ways you can help reduce feelings of loneliness: Tackling loneliness and social isolation for older Australians

Have The Conversation With Older People

If you’re concerned about an older person experiencing loneliness, or just not coping, then it is important to take the first step. Begin a conversation; your support and concern may make all the difference: How To Have The Conversation With Older People

Other helpful resources:

If you or someone you know needs help, call:
Emergency on 000
Lifeline on 13 11 14
MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36
Headspace on 1800 650 890
QLife on 1800 184 527

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