Elderly living alone study
A study as part of the Singapore Longitudinal Ageing Studies series, showed that the elderly living alone are more likely to die prematurely.
Looking at older people in Singapore who live alone, the study found men and women who lived alone had a 70-per cent higher risk of dying prematurely compared to their peers. The death rate among men who lived alone was 2.8 times higher than their peers who live with others. And the rate was 1.2 times higher for women. Those in the study who lived alone were two times likelier to feel lonely and have depressive symptoms.
There was a total of 189 participants that lived alone. There were follow-ups for an average of three years per person, and during the research period, 227 participants died.
The full article can be read on Today Online.
Illness in the elderly
Many of the elderly living alone, may be suffering from depression and grief if they have recently lost their partner.
Although the researchers did not have more information about the participants’ chronic diseases and various medical complications, they deduced that older persons may develop severe illness due to poor treatment, care and support, which is mainly due to the lack or loss of a spouse, especially among men.
To help those suffering from loneliness, depression or grief the elderly should be encouraged to join support groups to meet like minded people. Increasing socialisation with visits from family members, neighbours and friends would help break up the day that can be very lonely for the elderly living alone.
Safety for elderly living alone
Another concern is that those living alone won’t have someone around in the event of a fall or emergency. If you are concerned about someone living by themselves and would like to know more about a Telecare alarm you can call us on 0800 635 7000.