Doctors and physiologists are calling for increased awareness of the health risks associated with loneliness, as reported in the Wall Street Journal. A 2010 AARP study found that loneliness among adults age 45 and over is on the rise due to increased divorce rates, social media, and the increased prevalence of single person households. 35% of respondents stated they experienced loneliness, compared with 20% surveyed a decade earlier. The problem is likely more severe for seniors. A 2016 study conducted by Maike Luhmann, a professor at Ruhr University Bochum in Germany, and Louise Hawkley, a senior research scientist at the University of Chicago found that loneliness is most severe for seniors age 80 and older due to hearing loss, immobility, and death of loved ones.
According to Emma Adam, a professor of human development and social policy and a faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University, chronic loneliness, not just momentary loneliness that everyone temporarily will experience, can become a serious health problem. More