Though people are often reluctant to leave their own homes to move to another setting, research shows that living alone can actually lead to lower quality of life and more health risks. At Lifesprk, we often see people who are resistant to moving to a senior campus or independent living community only to discover, once they move in, that they enjoy the easy socialization that is natural in those environments.
In his Longevity Rules blog post, Stuart Greenbaum shares some insights from the latest research on loneliness:
“New research now validates a key sales pitch used routinely to attract people to older adult communities. It is now fact: Socialization is healthy and can extend life expectancy.
Conversely, the social pain of loneliness produces changes in the body that mimic and essentially accelerate the aging process, according to a new study by Cornell University. The study specifically determined that loneliness increases the risk of heart disease and other health problems later in life. On a positive note, lead researcher Anthony Ong concluded, ‘One of the most important and life-affirming messages of this research is the reminder that we all desire and need meaningful social connections.
Another new study by geriatricians at the University of California, San Francisco confirms that older adults who feel isolated and unhappy are twice as likely to have declining abilities to perform so-called activities of daily living; and 45 percent more likely to die than older adults who felt meaningfully connected to others.”
If you have a loved one who may need to consider a move from home or would benefit from some additional socialization, share the new loneliness research and the impact that loneliness has on people’s quality of life. And then check out Lifesprk’s free Housing Solutions service – we’ll use our innovative Lifesprk ExperienceTM to help you discover the ‘best fit’ options in the Twin Cities for your loved one.
And keep in mind, the loneliness research shows that you don’t have to live alone to be lonely (and that some people who live alone are perfectly happy). That’s why at Lifesprk, we strongly believe in helping people to live a sparked life – wherever they choose to live.