Loneliness Affects Mental and Physical Health

4 years 6 months 4 days ago July 19, 2012 Jul 19, 2012 Thursday, July 19 2012 Thursday, July 19, 2012 5:51:00 PM CDT in News
By: Katherine Biek
Embed Code Copied

COLUMBIA - With health becoming a major issue in this election year, new research says there may be a health challenge you haven't considered: Loneliness. It's actually a growing concern around the world. The Huffington Post reported on Monday that more than 700,000 elderly Brits feel lonely and isolated. The U.S. Census Bureau's latest statistics mention that nearly 10 million elderly Americans over the age of 65 live alone. It's something Linda Chapman understands. She lives on her own in a Columbia house. This is her hometown but that doesn't stop her from feeling isolated.

"I feel lonely all the time," she said. "I try to talk to people on the phone when I'm home by myself so I don't just watch TV all day."

Chapman attends Adult Day Connection three times a week to keep from feeling isolated on a daily basis. Adult Day Connection is a program that allows adults to spend the day socializing with others, exercising, attending therapy sessions, and participating in a variety of group activities.

"It's great. We have cooking lessons, we're listening to an accordion player today, we play games," Chapman said. "I'm really happy when I'm here because I have all these people to talk to."

But loneliness effects physical health just as much as mental health.

"When people are by themselves, they aren't getting the needed exercise that they need each day," director of the Adult Day Connection Amy Byergo said. "When people don't have somebody to spend time with, they usually will gravitate towards sleeping or sitting for most of the day."

"It's really easy to just sit on the couch and watch TV all day," Chapman said when asked how she spends her days alone.

A May 2012 study from the Center for Aging Research and Development in Ireland found that loneliness affects recovery from stroke and the frequency of emergency hospitalizations.

"Part of the problem stems from the fact that families are so spread out nowadays," executive director Jessica Macy of the Boone County Council on Aging said. "Fifty years ago, families used to live within five miles of each other. Now, families might be five hundred miles apart and it's not as easy to check in with each other every day."

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the likelihood of living alone increases with age. For women, it rose from 32 percent for 65-to-74-year-olds to 57 percent for those aged 85 years or more. For men, the corresponding proportions were 13 percent and 29 percent.

Byergo offers the advice to lonely seniors to at least find one time each day to talk to someone on the phone or face to face.

 

More News

Grid
List
LA MONTE - The Pettis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office filed charges against three men after a home invasion Saturday night.... More >>
7 hours ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 6:47:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The MFA Oil Break Time shootout featured talented athletes from all around Missouri on Sunday. There were six... More >>
7 hours ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 6:45:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department is looking for help identifying a truck believed to be involved in a hit... More >>
9 hours ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 4:40:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura, whose electric arm helped his team win the 2015 World Series title,... More >>
11 hours ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 2:36:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Two people were arrested Friday in connection with a terroristic threat, according to an email from Columbia police.... More >>
12 hours ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 2:08:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police officers responded to shots fired early Sunday morning in Columbia, according to a news release. ... More >>
13 hours ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 1:26:00 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police say a 20-year-old man is charged in an attack on a 12-year-old girl... More >>
13 hours ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 12:51:01 PM CST in News
JASPER (AP) — A southwestern Missouri man is taking recycling to the extreme by building a house made from everything... More >>
15 hours ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 11:03:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — A University of Missouri professor hopes his invention of a new mug that maintains the coffee's temperature... More >>
15 hours ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 10:56:06 AM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's new governor, Eric Greitens, is pushing to give the state the country's toughest penalties for... More >>
17 hours ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 9:28:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Choral Arts Alliance of Missouri (CAAM) raised more than $1,500 Saturday night for the after-school program, Granny's... More >>
1 day ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 10:15:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Thousands of protesters, mostly women, gathered in Missouri's two biggest cities and Kansas' capital city in... More >>
1 day ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 7:44:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A central Missouri technical college plans to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate the school's... More >>
1 day ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 7:37:52 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is making a school choice measure called education savings accounts a priority... More >>
1 day ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 7:32:26 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — The Mid-Missouri Solidarity March was organized by area organization to support the Women’s March on Washington, D.C. on... More >>
1 day ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 6:00:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Counselors helped Columbia residents sign up for health care insurance Saturday, amid rising concern over the repeal of... More >>
1 day ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 5:02:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Stephens College hosted its first "Fallopian Fest" Saturday. Stephens College student and one of the directors of... More >>
1 day ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 3:54:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — "The Mindfulness-Based Eating Solution" author, Dr. Lynn Rossy, spoke at the Boone County Historical Museum Saturday. The... More >>
1 day ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 11:51:00 AM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 40°
3am 39°
4am 39°
5am 38°
6am 38°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

2:03a
Meet the Press
3:00a
Paid Program
3:30a
Paid Program
2:00a
Paid Program
2:30a
Paid Program
3:00a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Celebrity Apprentice
9:00p
Timeless
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Jane the Virgin
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld