Empathic Urbanite

social business for urban development

Loneliness twice as unhealthy as obesity

Ah – check this Guardian article!

Loneliness twice as unhealthy as obesity for older people, study finds | Science | The Guardian.

Personally, I’d rather spend my youth loitering in the warm places of the world and when I’m old, I’ll be right back here in dreary London, tormenting the youth in my family, muahaha!!

Young woman hugging her grandmotherLoneliness is interesting. It’s not just sad; obviously we can all empathise with loneliness, it’s exactly why we all crave being part of a community. But it’s also stupid. From a social and governmental point of view, older people who are lonely are also more likely to need intensive state support and hospitalisations – i.e it costs us all more! Why do we not have MORE programmes to reduce isolation? Isolation is the single biggest factor in quality of life for old people. And it’s easy. Age UK and other agencies do great work in befriending and the results are significant, reducing hospitalisations and delaying people having to go into residential care.

I’ve been applying for befriending contracts for Three Sisters Care. Though the home care that we do makes so much difference to people’s lives, secretly I think I want to do befriending services even more…I’ve applied for some state contracts and am getting far enough in the process that I’m actually competing with Age UK at the presentation stage!! Not bad for a company just a year and a half old, eh?! I really believe in the difference befriending can make.

Anyway, this article focuses on the more academic notions about old age:

“We have mythic notions of retirement. We think that retirement means leaving friends and family and buying a place down in Florida where it is warm and living happily ever after. But that’s probably not the best idea. We find people who continue to interact with co-workers after retirement and have friends close by are less lonely. Take time to enjoy yourself and share good times with family and friends.”

I’ve always wanted to be the eccentric, but very-present great aunt. I ain’t going nowhere, kids, muahaha!

Loneliness twice as unhealthy as obesity for older people, study finds | Science | The Guardian.

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This entry was posted on May 3, 2014 by in Ageing, Community, Older People, Three Sisters Care Progress and tagged .
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