I came to see him but I stayed and married him

Loneliness and social isolation among the elderly are serious public health concerns that affect a large number of people in the US, putting them at risk for dementia and other serious medical conditions. According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), more than a third of people aged 45 and up are lonely, and nearly a quarter of people aged 65 and up are socially isolated. Older people are more likely to experience loneliness and social isolation as a result of circumstances such as living alone, the death of family or friends, chronic disease, and hearing loss. Loneliness is the feeling of being alone, regardless of social interaction. Social isolation is defined as a lack of social connections. Some people are lonely as a result of social isolation, while others are lonely because they are not socially isolated. Although social isolation and loneliness are difficult to quantify, there is strong evidence that many people in their 50s and beyond are socially isolated or lonely in ways that are harmful to their health. According to recent studies, social isolation increased a person’s risk of dying young from any cause, a risk that may be comparable to smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity. People who are socially isolated have a 50 percent higher risk of dementia. Poor social ties (defined as social isolation or loneliness) were linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke by 32 percent.
Loneliness has been linked to higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide. Among heart failure patients, loneliness was linked to a fourfold increased risk of death, a 68 percent increased risk of hospitalization, and a 57 percent increased risk of emergency department visits. Immigrants, lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities, minorities, and elder abuse victims are among those targeted in the report. It also notes that there is a paucity of literature for these groups, and that more research is needed to assess risks, consequences, and recommended interventions.

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