Health Problems Associated with Living Alone
Many people live alone, especially the elderly. Some live alone by choice while others do not have a choice in whether they live alone or not. Most people would not consider that there could be health problems associated with living alone. The facts are that there are living alone health problems, especially for the elderly or those that have not chosen to live alone. Humans are social animals by nature; therefore, we prefer to be with other humans. To be healthy, both mentally and physically, we need to have interactions with other humans. We do not need continuous interactions in order to be healthy, but never having human contact can be devastating on people that are living alone.
Living Alone can Cause Depression
As previously mentioned in this article, “How Does Living Alone Affect Mental Health?“, most of the living alone health problems are mental in nature, but they lead to physical health problems. Many studies have shown that those that live alone are more prone to both mental and physical health problems. The studies also show that living alone is more difficult and more dangerous for the elderly. Even with this being said, a new study that was done in Finland found that working-age adults that live alone are 80% more likely to develop depression compared to those that lived within a family unit. Let us look at some numbers that pertain to living alone health problems.
The Use of Anti-depressants
In 2000, investigators surveyed 3,471 men and women that were ages 30 to 65. They were asked whether they lived alone or with others, they were also asked to give other information concerning their lifestyle. They were asked about social support, their work, level of education, income levels, if they were unemployed, their housing situation, whether they smoked or used alcohol, and whether they got any physical exercise. The investigators found that those that lived alone purchased 80% more anti-depressants during the follow-up up period, which lasted for 7 years. It was found that more than 25% of those that lived alone had at least one prescription for anti-depressants, compared to 16% of those that lived with others.
Physical Health Problems
The mental problems associated with living alone can also lead to physical problems. As you can see one of the big living alone health problems is the increased chances of becoming depressed. Depression has many symptoms, and can cause many health problems. Depression can cause eating disorders, you either eat too much because food becomes your companion. Everyone knows the health issues associated with overeating. Depression will also cause some to stop eating because they do not feel the need to take care of themselves. People that are depressed have a much higher risk of becoming addicted to drugs, alcohol, or both, this was especially true of men that lived alone. Becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol is also connected to a wide range of health problems.
Other Problems Linked to Living Alone
Living alone health problems are just one of the factors that cause problems for those that live alone. Those that lived alone were generally less healthy for several reasons. Usually they had low income levels, which led to a lack of adequate health care. The financial problems also led those that lived alone to eat a diet of foods that were less healthy. Those that lived alone were also more likely to live in housing conditions that were not safe. It is thought that many of those that lived alone did not feel like they had anyone that cared about them so they did not try to improve their circumstances.
In conclusion it is clear to see that living alone health problems are real. Most of the problems associated with living alone center around the fact that those that live alone are likely to suffer from depression. Those that are elderly can also have an issue with summoning help if they have an emergency. When someone elderly lives alone they usually do not have anyone that checks on them regularly. If you have someone in your family, or you know someone, that is living alone you can make their life better by visiting with them on occasion. You can check their health and ensure that they are taking care of themselves. If you do not know what to do then make a phone call. There are many organizations that can help those that live alone live a fuller and better life.