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The problem of Loneliness

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This time I would like to talk about the loneliness our elders experience. It is known by everyone the fact that over time our body is changing, deteriorating, and that it is a process that comes with life itself, but few are aware of the importance of good mental health in this process and not only that but also the fact that emotional and social support is needed, which depends not only on the family or the person, but it is also a problem of society that need attention.

That is why the importance of organizations like Krugovi, which create projects that offer support to the elderly, not only with help in domestic chores but also accompaniment to alleviate the feeling of unwanted loneliness that affects all the scenarios of his life.

Loneliness according to the psychologist Lourdes Bermejo is: “a subjective experience that occurs when we are not satisfied or when our relationships are not enough or are not as we would expect them to be” (2005). Thus, loneliness is a subjective feeling that affects the perception of life of older people, their relationships, their self-esteem and their quality of life. Therefore, we must be aware that the impact of this negative feeling affects all the spheres of the older person.

There are very few people who decide to stay alone, because being surrounded by more people and feeling important for someone is an undeniable necessity. Research has been done and it has been found that loneliness is a serious problem of unhappiness that affects premature mortality. It is also associated with the deterioration of mental health and cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and dementia.

On a general level, loneliness influences brain health in a way very similar to chronic stress. Both incite a negative response of the endocrine and immune system. In the case of elderly people, the effects are more direct and negative due to the decrease in physiological resilience, that is, the ability of the organism to withstand and adapt to adverse conditions, in addition to its reduction in repair mechanisms as a consequence of aging.

The most worrisome is that it is believed that the problem of loneliness of older adults is increasing and in a few years it could become a global public health problem.

With projects such as those carried out by this association, the aim is to fight against the loneliness of older people with the aim of achieving at least the power to provide a more dignified life with love, care and companionship. Foreign volunteers like us face a very big barrier, the language, but that does not prevent us from contributing our bit

Support groups, services offered by friends, groups for the elderly and just having a conversation with someone during the day can help overcome loneliness and improve health in many aspects.

For many older people loneliness is not the result of a decision of their own, but a situation imposed by their own life and we should be more aware of it.

 

Stefania, Spain.

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