Even though she sometimes drives you bonkers, you adore your mom and expect her to live to 150. (Science should have that figured out soon, right?) But as it turns out, one of the most effective ways to actually help her live longer...is to simply hang with her more often.
Yep. A recent study conducted by the University of California, San Francisco found that the link between loneliness and decline in the elderly is even stronger than we thought—and that the more you shower your folks with attention, the longer they may live as a result.
Researchers followed 1,600 aging adults over six years and found that loneliness is a major health risk for the elderly—even more so than socioeconomic status. To get granular (and a tad morbid), 23 percent of self-identified lonely subjects died within the six-year timeframe, compared with only 14 percent of those who reported strong bonds in their lives. (We’re not crying; you’re crying.)
The findings, in short? The older you get, the more you need companionship to thrive, both mentally and physically.
Now, who needs to make a phone call?