Loneliness in the Elderly: conference in Udine, Italy

Published by IFOTES on 17 November 2018

First National Day against the Solitude of the Elder

The progressive aging of the individual and of the community is being accompanied by a strong increase in the unwanted condition of solitude. The dynamics that lead the elderly to live without the support of others are complex and almost never have a single cause. The solitude suffered, on the other hand, with its many aspects as a cause or effect is in turn gaining the role of risk factor for increasingly frequent conditions of fragility, depression and dementia. 

An international commission of experts commissioned by the journal Lancet has identified nine factors to reduce the cases of dementia, including Alzheimer's, by more than a third (about 35%); Gill Livingston and 23 other international experts have added two "new" risk factors for dementias - deafness and poor socialization - to the pre-existing list known since 2011 that reported seven: diabetes mellitus, arterial hypertension in adulthood, obesity in adulthood , smoke, depression, low education, sedentariness now have two other companions in misfortune! The two "new" risk factors have actually been known for years. However, only for a year have they obtained the deserved officialization and deserve our full attention. 

It is in any case significant that many, with different sensibilities and responsibilities, are trying to find answers, write Diego De Leo and Marco Trabucchi of the Italian Association of Psychogeriatrics in the editorial published in the first issue of 2018 of Psicogeriatria, announcing for the 15th November 2018 "End loneliness" First National Day against the Solitude of the Elder. "Almost nine million Italians are afraid of being alone when needed. The elderly are the most insecure of having someone to support them in case of need ... ". 

These data have been reported in the recent Istat Report on health conditions and recourse to health services in Italy. Saturday, November 17, in the conference in Udine we will also give our small contribution on these issues so current.