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On average, we spend more time alone as we age

A recent article by the Pew Research Center found that older adults (age 60+) spend about seven hours alone each day.  If an older adult lives alone, that number can easily jump to 10 hours spent alone each day.  While it’s not unusual to spend some time alone, research shows that the average number of hours we spend alone increases as we age.  

“In comparison, people in their 40s and 50s spend about 4 hours and 45 minutes alone, and those younger than 40 spend about three and a half hours a day alone, on average. Moreover, 14% of older Americans report spending all their daily measured time alone, compared with 8% of people younger than 60.”

There’s a difference in life quality when you only spend three hours alone each day as a young adult, then have to adjust to spending 8-10 hour stretches alone each day when you’re older. The article makes sure to point out that spending time alone isn’t always associated with negative effects, but it can lead to social isolation, which is a serious issue facing older adults. This can be made worse by the death of a spouse or lack of enough transportation in your community.  

Senior Centers are a great tool to prevent isolation. Check out the Ahead of the Curve Resource Directory for information about senior centers and transportation in your community.   

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Are you Ahead of the Curve? Take our short training any time to learn more about ways to support older adults in your family or community. You’ll learn to identify when someone might need more help and which resources are available for support.

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