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



A long ride to Copmanhurst campdraft

HERDING: Ben Thompson competing at the Copmanhurst Campdraft.

Copmanhurst was full of people, horses and cattle for the campdraft.

TALKING TIMBER: Transparent wood could replace glass

New technology could have profound effect on building design.

Couples wedded to Palmers Island caravan

Caravan owner Eric Lyons stands in front of the replacement van he sells hay bales from at Palmers Island, after his original van was destroyed by a storm.

Blown down in a storm, the iconic caravan on Palmers Island is back

Local Partners

Michael Palin: Terry Jones dementia is 'painful' to see

Michael Palin has found Terry Jones' decline "painful to watch"

Daniel Radcliffe hoped for haircut anonymity

Radcliffe thought shaving his head would make him more anonymous

Jim Carrey slams 'shameful greed' of lawsuit

Jim Carrey has slammed the "shameful greed" of White's ex-husband.

'Highly unlikely' Brad Pitt will face prosecution

It is highly unlikely that Brad Pitt will be prosecuted

WATCH: Justin Bieber grabbed in Germany

A video has emerged of singer Justin Bieber being attacked

Why The Wrong Girl is right for Jessica Marais

Jessica Marais and Ian Meadows in a scene from the TV series The Wrong Girl.

ACTOR makes the sometimes awkward character her own in new comedy.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

NEW HOME: Agents to the rescue for family of nine

RELIEF: Tanya Cone (middle) with her kids and McKimm's Real Estate property managers Regan Firth and Nadine Greenhalgh who helped find her family a home.

DEX article prompts property managers to help family find new home

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction

Peppers Airlie Beach put on the market

ON THE MARKET: Peppers Airlie Beach is being for recievership sale by CBRE Hotels and PRD Nationwide Airlie Beach.

Peppers Airlie Beach is being offered for sale.