Loneliness has always been a problem for seniors but now society has more seniors so the condition is much more common:
Loneliness is associated with as much of a reduction in lifespan as obesity and smoking. It is as bad for you as 15 cigarettes a day. Lonely people are more likely to suffer from dementia, heart disease, and depression. Blood pressure and anxiety are higher for people without supportive relationships in their lives. But those with supportive relationships have higher levels of oxytocin, the “love” hormone, that is important to health and wellbeing.
The presence of a supportive person can reduce cardiovascular and neuroendocrine responses to stress. Over thousands of years when humans were reliant on trust and relationships with others to secure food and safety, our physiology evolved to be connected to others: to be lonely goes against human nature.
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