Aug 28, 2017

The Truth about Loneliness and Its Effect on Men

At every age, it is difficult to battle loneliness stemming from changes to our social lives. For seniors, many challenges may arise and may seem like massive interruptions to our happiness, such as grieving the loss of a loved one or moving into a new retirement community. According to a study published by Huffington Post Australia, social isolation and loneliness are serious issues for men, especially since the suicide rate in Australia is three times higher for men than women.

Because loneliness affects both mental and physical health, men need to be particularly careful not to hide their feelings of sadness. Battling social isolation alone can be a huge undertaking for anyone, so it is important for communities to reach out to all members and make sure nobody is suffering from feeling withdrawn.

Some health challenges plaguing men who are lonely include:

  • Increasing the risk for depression and anxiety
  • Increasing the chances of mortality by 26%
  • Causing the onset of illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and strokes

Bearing in mind the ways loneliness affects men, we can be more conscious of individuals who may seem isolated and reach out to make sure that nobody feels like they are on their own.

Age UK’s recent study on Social Isolation, No One Should Have No One, highlights the fact that the elderly’s vulnerable positions are worsened by the simple fact that they are lonely.

1.2 million people in England qualify as chronically lonely, half a million over 60s spend every day alone, and another half million routinely go five or six days at a time without meeting or speaking to anyone.

Mental & Physical Health Risks

Social Isolation is a serious problem that does not only take a toll on a person’s mental health but physical health as well. In regards to mental health, loneliness leads to depression and sleeplessness. It also increases a person’s chances of developing clinical dementia by 64% (according to Holwerda et al’s 2012 study).

In terms of physical healthHolt-Lunstad found that loneliness increases the likelihood of mortality by 26%. It increases the onset of illnesses such as diabetes, heart conditions, and strokes. Further, research has shown that social isolation is as damaging to a person’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and not exercising at all.

Harvard study that followed two groups of men for 75 years found that those with more close, healthy relationships were happier and healthier as they grew older than the group of men that were lonelier throughout life.

Our Responsibility

It is our moral responsibility to care for our elders. We must support the generation that supported us when we needed them most. Even if you cannot visit an elderly loved one, phone call can alleviate the worst impacts of loneliness. Simply speaking on the phone increases a socially isolated person’s feeling of connectedness to society.

Vida’s Video

We at Vida are pleased that Age UK has published a report that focuses solely on social isolation and its detrimental effects. We are doing our bit to compliment the Campaign to End Loneliness and Age UK’s efforts to raise awareness about loneliness and reduce social isolation in the community by producing a video that highlights the impact of loneliness on the elderly.

Our video aims to engage with audiences’ emotions and consciousness, to motivate them to connect with their loved ones throughout the year and not just during the holidays. An emotional call to action, if you will. We’ll be releasing this video end of January, watch this space!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Knitting provides mental, physical stimulation – and warm clothes for the less fortunate

While the current pandemic has certainly come with a unique set of challenges, in times of crisis it is more important than ever to maintain overall health and wellbeing, both mentally and physically. One of the many activities enjoyed by residents at Cranbrook Residences is knitting, with a group of residents utilising their time to... Read More

Audio memoirs: The ultimate keepsake

There is no question we can learn a lot from our older loved ones – from their life experiences, lessons and words of wisdom. This is why it is important to immortalise the lives of older people through their stories for future generations when they are no longer with us. Read More

Why Appearance Matters, Even When You are Living in a Nursing Home

“I say, dress to please yourself. Listen to your inner muse and take a chance. Wear something that says ‘Here I am!’ today.” – Iris Apfel, 96. Just because a person is getting older, it doesn’t mean they have to let go of their desire to look good. We teach children not to judge a... Read More
Advertisement
Exit mobile version