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Loneliness Can Lead To Health Problems And Premature Death In Older People, Study Finds

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hang with a parent

When was the last time you visited your parents? Has it been too long since you last talked to them?

Well, sadly, as many of us grow up and become more independent, we tend to neglect our parents a little bit. We begin visiting and talking to them less often, we stop asking their wise pieces of advice and relying on their support when we’re in need of help, and in the worst case – we break off our relationship with them completely.   

As it turns out, neglecting or drifting apart from our parents can have greater consequences for them than we previously thought.

One study has shown that loneliness could lead to health problems and, in some cases, even premature death among older people.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, conducted a study which followed 1,600 grown-ups with an average age of 71. Among the older subjects, 43 percent reported feeling lonely.

The study indicated that almost 23 percent of the participants who reported feeling lonely died within 6 years of the study, compared to just 14.2 percent of the participants who reported adequate companionship.  

The researchers concluded that loneliness is a common source of impaired quality of life in older people and that it could lead to serious health issues, such as diabetes, dementia, loss of function, cardiac diseases, and premature death.

So, let all this be a reminder to you to spend more time with your parents, laugh with them more, talk to them more, and do the things they enjoy doing together. Not only will these moments help your parents live a healthier, longer, and more fulfilling life, but they’ll also become precious, lasting memories that you’ll carry in your heart all your life.