SINGLE PERSON HOUSEHOLDS DURING CORONAVIRUS ISOLATION
The number of single-person households in the United States in 2019 was approximately 36,480,000 (36 million 480 thousand) according to recent demographics. Household size in the United States has decreased over the past century, due to customs and traditions changing. The greatest shift in household types that occurs after the age of 50 is the steady increase in individuals living alone. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 11 million, or 28% of people aged 65 and older, lived alone at the time of the census. As people get older, their likelihood of living alone increases.
What is happening with those in single person households who have been cut off from their social interaction and outside activities? How are they able to live their days without human contact – even being restricted from regular outings?
“I may be single and independent but that doesn’t mean I don’t need people.
While not every person who is single also has mental health issues, loneliness and social isolation have very real consequences. It’s more than simply missing being around people; research shows that isolation can have huge effects on both mental and physical health.”
From The Campaign to End Loneliness:
Loneliness increases the likelihood of mortality by 26%
Loneliness is associated with an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease and stroke
Loneliness increases the risk of high blood pressure
Social isolation and loneliness are risk factors for the progression of frailty
Lonely individuals are more prone to depression
Loneliness and low social interaction are predictive of suicide in older age
Loneliness and isolation are associated with poorer cognitive function among older adults”
Does having a phone conversation with a trained professional make a difference for those in social isolation? As we retreat further and further indoors, having ways to reach out and gain support really does make all the difference. Stress Relief Club is a non-profit which offers a free call to anyone who is feeling the effects of being alone during these difficult times. Certainly having the ability to talk to someone who is non-judgmental and non-critical can be a life saver in more ways than one. Many of the staff are counselors or just good listeners who provide the human interaction which is missing in our present environment.