The LEARNING library

The Cost of Loneliness

NEXT radio

The headline read, “People in rich countries are dying of loneliness.” I couldn’t resist, I had to read it and I had to know why. Turns out, this is a blurry issue without hard lines drawn between demographics. Instead, it’s about emotional isolation. We are living longer, moving away from our families, marrying less and living in a culture that promotes autonomy over community. This is the perfect storm for loneliness. In its wake is the higher risk of Alzheimer’s, depression, obesity and early death.
Think this is a problem just for single people? Think again. According to The New York Times, “It is not the same thing as being alone: 62.5 percent of older adults who reported being lonely in this new study were married.”
Grant Porteous, local therapist and life coach, joins me (Shea) in the studio today to talk about how to identify loneliness and cope with it. He says, “You need to look at your 401(k) but you also need to look at this … you need to look at your emotional health.”