Many studies show a connection between social isolation and higher rates of elder abuse, reports the National Center on Elder Abuse.
Whether this is because isolated adults are more likely to fall victim to abuse, or a result of abusers attempting to isolate the elders from others to minimize risk of discovery, researchers aren’t certain.
In the PNAS study mentioned above, illnesses and conditions such as chronic lung disease, arthritis, impaired mobility, and depression were associated with social isolation.
Ensuring appropriate care for our loved ones’ illnesses can help prevent this isolation.
Fortunately, the past couple of decades have seen increasing research into the risks, causes, and prevention of loneliness in seniors.