Health

Loneliness: The Silent Killer

When we are young, our life is often full of activities and relationships. Our parents are still living; we may have children, siblings, and a spouse. Our many friends are mostly healthy. We are not likely to have chronic illnesses. We may have a pet or two. Most of us have a built in network of relationships and activities through our work. By the time we reach sixty five, many of those connections and activities have faded away. What we once took for granted is what we very much need and crave in later life: social connections and a meaningful, productive existence. Older people are especially vulnerable to loneliness. Life expectancy continues to get longer, and the world population is getting older. By 2050, one in four people in the world will be over sixty. Eighty percent of those over sixty will be living in lower income countries.