Why are we talking about this?
Tracey Crouch was just appointed the U.K.s minister of Loneliness. Loneliness is a huge growing public health issue in most developed countries
⅓ of older Americans report feeling lonely and isolated
This has long term health consequences including function decline and increase risk for heart disease, stroke, dementia, insomnia (and we know what that does!).
Individuals without meaningful social relationships are twice as likely to die from all cause mortality. IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE SO RISKY?!
“It’s proven to be worse for health than smoking 15 cigarettes a day, but it can be overcome and needn’t be a factor in older people’s lives,”
Higher risk populations: new parents, children, disabled people, refugees
Dr. Holt-Lunstad at Brigham Young, who has analyzed 70 studies encompassing 3.4 million people, said that the prevalence of loneliness peaks in adolescents and young adults, then again in the oldest old.
people can be socially isolated and not feel lonely; they simply prefer a more hermitic existence. Likewise, people can feel lonely even when surrounded by lots of people, especially if the relationships are not emotionally rewarding.
But can affect ANYONE at any time.
I have felt many times in my life and still do at times.
Why do we have this problem
Abraham Maslow (psychologist) considered the most basic of needs — warmth, food, shelter, security and a sense of connection. (he later added the concept of transcendence)
It's hard to admit you feel Lonely (it's embarrassing)
Often in the ER we see physical complaints even though there might be a more pressing issue like loneliness underlying this
What do we do???
If YOU are lonely
If You are NOT LONELY
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Simply Health ME E80 - Appetite
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Simply Health ME - E74 Cortisol
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