It’s okay if you want to be alone… but sometimes you need friends and family to keep you going.
Loneliness and social isolation in older adults is a serious public health risk affecting a significant number of people around the world, putting them at risk for dementia or other serious medical conditions.
Photo via BBC
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), loneliness is the feeling of being alone, regardless of the amount of social contact, while social isolation is a lack of social connections which can lead to loneliness in some people, while others can feel lonely without being socially isolated.
Recent studies found that loneliness can cause:
Social isolation significantly increased a person’s risk of premature death from all causes, a risk that may rival smoking, obesity and physical inactivity
Social isolation was associated with about a 50% increased risk of dementia
Poor social relationships was associated with a 29% increased risk of heart disease and a 32% increased of stroke
Loneliness is associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety and suicide
Loneliness among heart failure patients was associated with a nearly four-times’ increased risk of death, 68% increased risk of hospitalisation and 57% risk of emergency department visits
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been broad and very challenging for all of us.
Quarantine and social distancing are necessary measures to prevent the virus from spreading but also lead to elevated levels of loneliness and social isolation, which in turn produce physical and mental-health related problems.
Remember to always keep in touch with your loved ones via video call or just a simple text asking them how their day is going. A simple act of kindness can actually help yourself and others.
Though sometimes being surrounded by people, connected with hundreds of friends on social media, or living with a large family can still feel lonely… if you feel like you need someone to talk to, please reach out to someone you trust or a health professional for help!
You are never alone. Please take care of yourself!
By: Aishah Akashah Ahadiat