HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Will you be lonely this Christmas?
Mark Shields Investigates...
Christmas represents to me a time for family to come together to spend some quality time in each other’s company. The pace slows down for a much needed end of year break to relax and recuperate.
is more damaging than obesity. It is associated with depression, sleep problems, impaired cognitive health, heightened vascular resistance, hypertension, psychological stress and mental health problems.
But what if your family is spread across the globe or you do not have someone nearby to share it with, what then? Are you going to be lonely this Christmas?
LONELINESS AND MENTAL HEALTH Feeling lonely rather than being alone is associated with an increased risk of clinical dementia in later life and can be considered a major risk factor that, independently of vascular disease, depression and other confounding factors. A 2012 study in the British Medical Journal suggests that loneliness puts individuals at a greater risk of cognitive decline and concludes that lonely people have a 64% increased chance of developing clinical dementia
No one should have no-one at any time of the end and yet 1.4 million older people feel cut off from society. This may be for a number of reasons: • perhaps they’ve lost a loved one • moved away from friends and family • lost the social contact and enjoyment they used to get from work • have health problems that make it difficult for them to go out and do the things they enjoy. We now know the impact loneliness has on our health. Research from AgeUK, found that, the effect of loneliness and isolation can be as harmful to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and 64 | www.life-mags.com
So, how can we all help one another and reduce these statistics of loneliness and in turn reduce the pressure on our health service. COMMUNITY GROUPS I meet many gentlemen in my business that have had long successful careers in business and then when they come to retire they are not too sure what to do with themselves. They become stuck in a rut and eventually their health declines because they
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