Friends can mean more than just a good time, they can literally increase your health, according to a new report.
A British study commissioned by the Campaign to End Loneliness found that older people are having a bleaker and bleaker outlook on life. Ninety percent of people studied believe that loneliness in old age is “more likely than ever,” and that three-quarters of those studied don’t want to admit they’re alone and don’t want to be a burden.
A representative for the Campaign to End Loneliness, Laura Alcock Ferguson called loneliness an “epidemic” that is “isolating millions,” but added, “Loneliness is not inevitable.”
Health problems associated with loneliness include depression and anxiety; according to the group, lacking solid social connections is a comparable health-risk factor to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
Sadly, the study found that two-fifths of older people say television keeps them company most of the time.
DML News CEO Dennis Michael Lynch commented on the study, and the topic of loneliness. “One of the things I love most about doing my Walk & Talks is knowing I am offering people an event where they can meet with other people. I get the emails all the time from folks who are alone and see me as the one person who will talk to them during the day.” He continued, “Last year on Christmas, I held a Walk & Talk for those people who have nobody else to be with. I recognize how much it means to them — we all want to be loved and we all want to love someone. As for the study, I wonder how many people actually smoke 15 cigarettes a day simply because they are alone.”
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