When you start considering the decision to leave your current home and move into a lifestyle village, boredom isn't the only thing that will be a concern. Loneliness can be a huge problem among the elderly, with some 18 per cent of seniors claiming to live alone, according to the University of California, San Francisco. In addition, 43 per cent also state they feel lonely on a regular basis.

So how does loneliness affect elderly people, and what can you do about it?

How loneliness affects the elderly

According to a recent study performed by Brigham Young University in the US, loneliness can have the same kinds of consequences to a person's life span as obesity.

"The effect of this is comparable to obesity, something that public health takes very seriously," said the study's lead author, Julianne Holt-Lunstad. "We need to start taking our social relationships more seriously."

The study included research from three other separate medical studies, with a combined total of around 3 million participants. The results conclude that loneliness and social isolation can have serious health consequences. Meanwhile, frequent social interaction and companionship can have the opposite effects.

So what can you do about it?

Enough doom and gloom – how do you beat back loneliness to live a happy senior lifestyle?

Joining one of our retirement communities could be precisely what you need. Both our Newcastle and Camden properties are designed for like-minded older individuals to communicate with and engage each other, developing new friendships and try new things.

For example, at Sugar Valley Lifestyle Estate you might enjoy working with your neighbours in the garden, or joining them for a round or two of golf on the local course. At Camden Central, on the other hand, the Community Centre makes for a great place to meet and interact with people, as does popping around the local shops for an afternoon of window browsing! 

FAQ: How does loneliness affect elderly people?