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‘Prepare for old age when younger’

Not all senior citizens who live alone are lonely. Loneliness depends on whether the person has been forced by circumstances to live alone. If they feel that they are abandoned by their families, it increases their vulnerability towards depression.

mumbai Updated: Oct 07, 2012 00:37 IST
Mugdha Variyar
Mugdha Variyar
Hindustan Times

Is loneliness a common problem among the elderly?
Not all senior citizens who live alone are lonely. Loneliness depends on whether the person has been forced by circumstances to live alone. If they feel that they are abandoned by their families, it increases their vulnerability towards depression.

What are the symptoms of loneliness and depression?
Physical symptoms such as body pain and loss of sleep are usually signs of depression. Most senior citizens only talk about their physical problems. It is important that doctors recognise these symptoms.

How should the elderly deal with loneliness?
It is important that they involve themselves in activities and exercise. However, one cannot start this at old age. Everyone must prepare for old age when they are younger. Senior citizens should indulge in physical, recreational, social and religious activities to avoid loneliness.

First Published: Oct 07, 2012 00:36 IST