Abuse…, What’s the first thing that comes in your mind when you hear the word? An image of a kid being sexually abused or physically tortured? A husband hitting his wife violently which leaves her with some broken ribs and bruises everywhere? Yes, those are abuses and a crime against humanity, in my personal opinion. What I would like to highlight, to you, is about a common abuse that may not have crossed your mind…the abuse on the elderly.
We are in an age where communication has reached a culminating point. A friend or family member residing on the other side of the earth can be communicated via the internet or phone in matters of seconds. Despite this advancement in technology, research shows that ours is a society, lonelier than what it used to be before. Findings from studies carried out on the elderly, show that this age group is the loneliest than all the other age groups.
A few findings from American studies that focused on loneliness in the elderly are as follows:
- Eighteen percent of senior citizens in America live lonely and 43% of senior citizens feel lonely on a regular basis.
- There is a 45% increase in the risk of death among people aged 60 years or older who feel lonely, while isolated elders have a 59% increased risk of mental and physical decline compared to those elderly who socialize.
- One in 7 people with Alzheimer’s disease live alone.
- The most startling of findings was that two-thirds of older adults in America who felt lonely were either married or living with a partner.