Loneliness In Seniors: Top Signs Your Loved One Is Struggling

Loneliness is one of the most common crises facing elderly folks as they age. According to statistics from NCBI, many older people sometimes do not have friends or family members to engage with for months at a time. But even when our elderly loved ones do have company, that loneliness can still affect them with people around too.

Loneliness is sad for the elderly and can have long-lasting effects on mental health. It can lead to low self-esteem, depression, and even physical health problems like stroke and high blood pressure. How can you quickly recognize signs of loneliness in your elderly loved ones? Here are some things to look out for.

1.   Increased Buying Habits

When older folks start to buy more material goods than usual, especially over the internet, it might be a sign of loneliness. Spending habits tend to increase in people who are experiencing loneliness.

They do this because they lack social connection and want to interact with the world more often. Buying more things gives them a feeling of having something to do. If your elderly ones have increased buying habits, paying them more attention and making sure their social and emotional needs are met may help curb the desire to spend unnecessarily.

2.  Restlessness While Sleeping

Restless sleep can also be a sign of loneliness in aged ones. If you notice them being more exhausted than usual or they experience interrupted sleep patterns, then there is a chance they are craving more engagement.

Loneliness can cause loss of quality rest for your loved one. If they seem to find it harder to sleep or wake up at short intervals, talking with them and engaging more may be crucial to helping curb that lonely feeling. Something as simple as checking in to see how their day was can aid in the mental and emotional well-being of your senior.

3.  Change in Call Frequency

Change in the frequency of phone calls, whether it be an increase or decrease, can be a sign of loneliness and social isolation in older people. An increase in call frequency can be an obvious sign of loneliness as they may want to communicate more. Likewise, a decrease in calls can also mean the same thing.

4.  Anger

In some instances, some older adults who are extremely proud can often express themselves with anger. This can also prove to be true of those embarrassed of being alone.  Sometimes they might feel left out or unheard, and this can lead to feelings of anger or despair. The anger they express might not present itself as shouting or arguing. It might just manifest as disengagement or generally quiet behavior. If your elderly loved ones show such signs, you can show them more attention to help alleviate their feelings of loneliness.


Sometimes to the elderly, talking about loneliness is complicated as they often do not want to feel like they are bothering their loved ones. This is why looking out for signs of loneliness in your elderly ones is important, as they might not be open to discussing it.

If you think your aging loved ones are struggling with loneliness, paying more attention to them can be helpful. Engaging them in conversations, asking them how their day went, spending more time with them, or planning a special outing are just a few ways to help alleviate the feeling of loneliness in your elderly loved one. A little bit can go a long way in protecting the mental health of your senior.

To learn more about the signs of loneliness in seniors and the solutions we provide at Pomeroy Living, visit Pomeroy Living or email us at info@pomeroyliving.com

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Manda Ayoub

Manda is a nurse and a licensed nursing home Administrator in the state of Michigan. She has worked through all aspects of the post-acute healthcare industry, holding various positions including Infection Control Nurse, In-service Director, Quality Assurance Director, Risk Manager and a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator.