Loneliness is a common issue among seniors, and it is a serious public health concern because it leads to life-threatening medical conditions. Previous studies have found that social isolation is associated with the occurrence of dementia. Loneliness can also result in depression.
Alone in Old Age
According to a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), more than one-third of all adults over 45 feel lonely. Almost one-fourth of all adults over the age of 65 are considered socially isolated.
Factors such as limited mobility, chronic illness, loss of a loved one can contribute toward social isolation and loneliness among seniors. Elderly loved ones must live a happy life full of love from family members and friends. Older adults have different opportunities to mingle and meet with others from the same age groups.
Those who move to assisted living facilities have, for example, a better chance of forging friendships with other seniors. Often, these places have programs where patients are encouraged to exercise, play games, and bond. The key is to find the right assisted living facility for your loved one. In such cases, a senior care solution can offer you choices where a senior family member can be cared for and live happily, safe from the serious medical conditions of loneliness and social isolation.
They can even find a romantic partner with whom they can share the joys and the struggles of their twilight years.
Love Among the Elderly
It is not unusual for seniors to find romance. A poll from the University of Michigan discovered that 72 percent of all people aged 65 to 80 currently have a romantic partner. A separate survey conducted by the AARP in Southern California found that those under the age of 55 and over 80 are far more likely to say that they are satisfied with their romantic lives.
There is a belief that, as the body shows more signs of aging, finding a romantic partner becomes more challenging. After all, mass media glorifies youth, and there is very little representation for older women and men, especially those who are falling in love on television and in movies.
But, in reality, older adults are more romantically attached and overall happier than their younger counterparts.
Some seniors consider the second half of their lives to be their best years. Being older gives people a new perspective, allowing them to live in the moment rather than reminisce or worry about the future. Of course, some seniors approach their final years with depression and fear of death.
And while young love is characterized by passion and excitement, nature romance is described as peaceful. There is serenity in dating as an older couple because it focuses on maintaining mutual support. Moreover, elderly couples have smaller social circles and are far less drawn from seeking novelty. They are more interested in deepening existing relationships. That is the recipe to a happier life in old age.
The Health Benefits of Being in Love
Age comes with an increased risk for serious medical conditions, but love is an antidote that could improve health among the elderly population.
Several previous studies have been performed on the positive benefits of having a romantic partner. Scientists have found that when a person is in love and feels loved, they are stronger physically and mentally.
In one study, researchers found that happily married have fewer doctor’s visits and shorter hospital stays. Some theorize that people in good relationships take better care of themselves.
Another study found evidence that married people have lower blood pressure levels than those who are single. They experience lower anxiety levels, and they are better at managing stress.
Most importantly, those in loving relationships live longer. Previous research investigated the influence of marriage on a person’s mortality. The researchers found that those who have never been married are 58 percent more likely to die earlier than those who got married.
The quality of the relationship matters a lot. However, there is strong proof that romance is good for one’s health, especially among the elderly.
People who are living their final years deserve to be happy. Many seniors live in isolation and loneliness. So, when they are lucky enough to fall in love again, they should be encouraged and supported because it is good for their overall well-being.