Feelings of loneliness are common among Senior Citizens. The retirement years can lack close connections with family and former co-workers. Feeling lonely over long periods of time can significantly impact a person’s health. Specifically, loneliness can worsen symptoms of heart disease in Senior Citizens.
Loneliness and Heart Disease
Studies indicate that social isolation (both real and perceived) is correlated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and elevated blood pressure. A meta-analysis showed that the effect between loneliness and heart disease was independent of other risk factors. Isolation increases the risk of heart disease as much as light smoking does.
Heart disease patients who have secure social connections tend to see improved survival rates by as much as 50 percent. Individuals whose relationships are weaker have poorer health outcomes. The problem is worse for Senior Citizens who lack a spouse or significant other.
Reduce Isolation and Improve Health
Fortunately, there are active steps you can take to reduce the risks of loneliness and heart disease in your life. Doing low-impact physical activities with others is the perfect combination to improve health and reduce loneliness.
- Walking Partner – Find a person to take a walk with daily. It could be a neighbor, friend, or family member. Pick a specific time to walk and hold each other accountable to walk at least five days a week. Both the exercise and companionship are good for your heart.
- Exercise Class – Group exercise can improve social and physical health. The Hunterdon County YMCA offers aqua aerobics and group fitness classes for older adults.
- Lawn Sports – Low-impact sports are a great way to make social connections and be active. Croquet, bocce ball, and cornhole are great games to play with friends in the yard.
Companion Aides or Certified Homemaker-Home Health Aides could help Senior Citizens combat loneliness on another level by enriching their lives and fulfilling the hours normally spent alone in isolation. Call us at Anita’s Angels for more details at 908-788-9390. Enjoy your Spring!