Loneliness didn't necessarily mean being alone - almost two-thirds of seniors who reported feeling lonely were married or living with a partner. Researchers defined loneliness as feeling left out or isolated or lacking companionship.
While not a new issue the UCSF study is among the largest to look at loneliness, as opposed to general depression.
I suggest that we take this study seriously and also own up to our responsibilities as sons and daughters. Especially if you live in the same place, there is no excuse for social isolation of mom and dad. We must create families of inclusion.
And while family is one foundational rock, there are other outlets in our communities that provide opportunities to develop meaningful relationships, whether it be senior centers or adult day care.
There is no reason for a senior to just drift away into loneliness, illness then death.
We need to encourage them too if they are reluctant to reach out for the resources available or find it hard to make friends.