Lifestyle

Living alone a risk to your health

IF YOU want to live to a healthy, ripe old age, add "keep connected with family and friends" to the top of your list along with don't smoke, eat well, floss nightly and exercise daily.

QUT School of Nursing head Helen Edwards said living alone had emerged as a key risk factor for a host of chronic diseases and unhealthy aging.

"We know that you are more at risk of diseases of lifestyle and aging such as diabetes, dementia and chronic wounds if you live alone," Prof Edwards, QUT Queensland Dementia Training and Study Centre director, said.

"Researchers suspect a host of factors make living alone such a risk.

"The lack of social interaction and the mental stimulation it brings could be part of the reason.

"But also it might be there is no one to notice that your health is deteriorating and urge you to see a doctor.

"When living alone, you are less likely to eat properly, and it can be an effort to keep active if you don't have someone to coach and support you.

"Research at QUT is also investigating what part social media and the internet will play in keeping people connected as they age. It will be interesting to see how it can mitigate some of the effects of living alone."

Prof Edwards said dementia was not confined to the older population and this would put a significant burden on younger carers.

"There has been an increase in people in their 40s and 50s diagnosed with dementia which means carers are going to be younger.

"Our research at QUT includes a focus on the future needs of the carers.

"We are researching some pressing issues for carers which include respite and sleep so we can offer the appropriate support."

>> To read more lifestyle stories

Topics:  ageing, family, health, lifestyle, relationships


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

ELECTION 2016: Richmond candidates address affordable housing and negative gearing.

AFFORDABLE: Are places like the Kollective in Sunrise the answer for affordable medium density housing.

Will negative gearing changes produce more affordable housing

Build a fence around Byron and charge admission, says mayor

It might be the only way this tourist town can get grant funding

Is it ice cream? Is it poo? It’s Splendour art

In 2015 we learned that the infamous 'poo emoji' is actually an image of ice cream, so Mr Poopie will be a fitting Splendour homage to such a first world problem.

A fitting homage to the king of emojis

Latest deals and offers

Take a look at the draft plan for Byron’s coast

THE Draft Coastal Zone Management Plan for the Byron Bay Embayment is on public exhibition until Tuesday June 14.

ELECTION 2016: Richmond candidates address affordable housing and negative gearing.

AFFORDABLE: Are places like the Kollective in Sunrise the answer for affordable medium density housing.

Will negative gearing changes produce more affordable housing

Build a fence around Byron and charge admission, says mayor

It might be the only way this tourist town can get grant funding

Is it ice cream? Is it poo? It’s Splendour art

In 2015 we learned that the infamous 'poo emoji' is actually an image of ice cream, so Mr Poopie will be a fitting Splendour homage to such a first world problem.

A fitting homage to the king of emojis

LETTER: Gold Coastification of Byron Bay

ROCKING BELONGIL: Members of Byron Residents Group, Andrew Murray, Kate Coorey and Dialan Pugh at last year’s Save Our Beaches rally. Photo: Lyn McCarthy

Local community group urges locals to act over Byron development.

Searching for meaning in Byron Bay with Hugh Mackay

BYRON WRITERS FESTIVAL: Author and social researcher Hugh Mackay

Social researcher Hugh Mackay will talk next Wednesday in Byron.

Failed funding bid won’t stop the show at NORPA

HIT: NORPA's 2015 production of Railway Wonderland.

No NORPA shows affected after funding rejected by Australia Council.

Perfect time to invest in Northern Rivers property

The Northern Rivers rental market is tighter than Sydney making it the perfect time for investors to get better returns out of property than superannuation or banks deposits.

Low interest rates and tight rental market are prime time to invest