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Loneliness Affects More Than Emotions

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As Mental Health Awareness Month winds down, there’s no better time for Palm Beach home care experts to provide valuable information on the affects of loneliness on senior health and wellbeing. Following are just a few of the negative ways loneliness can impact seniors.

Increased Risk of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

A recent study conducted in Amsterdam and published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry focused on 2,200 senior citizens who did not show any symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and who lived alone. The study was conducted over a period of three years, and it found that the feeling of loneliness increased the risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, by 64 percent.

Compromised Immune System

Other studies have shown loneliness also takes a toll on the immune system. As individuals age, it becomes more important than ever to keep the immune system healthy and strong to fight off simple bacterial and/or viral infections. Loneliness, much like stress, has been shown to directly impact the health of the immune system in seniors.

General Decline in Wellbeing

Finally, the overall wellbeing of seniors who spend a lot of their time alone is also compromised. Numerous studies have shown social interaction is an important part of happiness and wellbeing, and socialization can also help boost cognitive abilities. Seniors who feel lonely are often unhappy in general and may even experience mild to severe depression.

How You Can Help

If your elderly loved one lives alone or seems lonely, there are things you can do to help. Be sure to visit your loved ones often, and encourage them to become involved in the community. If you live far from your loved one, consider live-in senior care in Palm Beach. There are also plenty of groups and services out there dedicated to providing suitable activities for seniors.

Interested in learning more about Palm Beach home care for your senior loved one? Reach out to Home Care Assistance. We offer both flexible hourly care as well as live-in care for seniors. An experienced caregiver can help your loved one around the house, run errands, provide transportation to social activities, and offer a reliable and consistent source of companionship for your loved one. Give us a call at 561.429.8292 to speak with a Care Manager about our customized care services.