Unwanted loneliness is a problem that doesn’t make noise or attract attention, but ultimately, it is the same thing as other diseases: a risk factor for mortality. Specifically, the scientific community has verified that loneliness and prolonged social isolation increase the risk of mortality by approximately 30%.
People who suffer from this condition are at a higher risk of suffering from heart disease, stroke, dementia and mental health problems, such as depression. A recent study published in the journal jama surgery Even conscious that this had a negative effect on the later development of older adults. that’s why, yes unwanted loneliness It is a problem that “seriously affects physical and mental health”. In fact, it’s associated with an increased risk for aggravation of physical weaknessdepression, suicidal intent or poor cognitive function.
Although its true dimension is not easy to measure, a 2021 document from the World Health Organization (WHO) assures that 20% to 34% of older people in China, Europe, Latin America and the United States feel lonely. And, another piece of research was published earlier this year in the journal british medical journal found, despite a considerable paucity of data, a variable prevalence by world region and age group: among adolescents, it ranged from 9.2% in Southeast Asia to 14.4% in the Eastern Mediterranean; Among European adults, the lowest prevalence was in the north, and the highest, in Eastern Europe, where it was above 21% among the elderly. Furthermore, according to INE data from 2018, there are currently 461,000 people over the age of 85 living alone, of whom 360,000 are women, accounting for 41% of the entire population of women over that age.
However, regarding the association of unwanted loneliness with the mental health of those who experience it, there is evidence that having a large and diverse social network and having quality relationships protect against depression. Similarly, loneliness and less social participation were associated with a higher risk of dementia and even sleep problems. Loneliness has also been associated with poor lifestyle habits, such as excessive use of tobacco or alcohol, harmful behaviors that can result in fewer social interactions resulting in increased exposure to healthier behaviors.
National strategy to deal with involuntary separation
In this context, the Platform for Elderly and Pensioners (PMP) has called on the public administration to intensify the strategy it employs to end a crisis. More than two million people over the age of 65 in our country suffer fromSo And is that, this movement is considered the most representative at the state level (with 15,079 associations and more than 5,746,000 associates) – believes that effect of unwanted loneliness Demands to take “immediate measures to create a state intervention framework”.
Objectives of this strategy, in which platforms agree to cooperate, this should mean, according to the PMP, that it should better know who is most lonesome and to what extent they are affected; carry out missions Public awarenessTo join programs to address loneliness, and to prevent it as well as not stigmatizing people who feel it fostering intergenerational spaceand attacking the serious problems that commonly accompany loneliness (poverty, abuse, the stigma of people who live alone).
Thus, the government confirmed at the end of 2022 that Immerso will have a draft national strategy to deal with involuntary separations in the first quarter of 2023 and will take it to the Council of Ministers for approval on the same dates, or so according to El Periódico. de España, which directs the department Eoin Belarra Joe CAnd that it is a matter of great depth and should be given priority, ministry of social rights He explained to the medium that it is one of the central objectives of the national strategy he works for, but two years of the pandemic have so far not made it possible to implement it.
We’ll keep reporting…