Sunday, January 15, 2006

loneliness

Loneliness has mistakenly become practically synonymous with old age. Although everyone is lonely at one time or another, studies show that as age increases, loneliness generally decreases. Elderly people are less lonely than other groups, such as college students, single people, and divorced people. Many factors, such as gender, health, former occupation, income, and living situation affect the levels of loneliness in the elderly. Elderly men, in general, are less lonely than elderly women. People who consider themselves to be in good or excellent health are less lonely than those who consider themselves to be in poor health. People whose former occupations were in the skilled labor category (carpenters, electricians, machinists) have lower levels of loneliness than other groups. Many people in this group develop their work interest into an enjoyable hobby in later life. The living situation is another important factor in the level of loneliness of an older person. Feelings of confinement, not the type of housing in which they live, cause increased loneliness among the elderly.
Hooks, G. "Poverty: Old Age's Unexpected Bequest," in Aging, Goldstein, E. C., ed. Vol. 1, Art. 6. Boca Raton, Fl.: Social Issues Resource Series, Inc., 1981.

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