Reason number 775 to call your mom. Its to tough age even when you have a good support system.
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco found that loneliness plays a large role in the decline associated with old age. The UC SF study followed 1,600 adults, with an average age of 71. Despite controlling for socioeconomic status and health, the lonely consistently held higher mortality rates. Nearly 23% of lonely participants died within six years of the study, as opposed to only 14% of those that reported adequate companionship. Its difficult for people to confront their aging parent's loneliness because they know they can't be the sole source of their parent's social lives, particularly if they live far away. We talk to Dr. Jenny Burn about how to approach the topic of staying social with an aging parent.