Inviting Grandma over for dinner may actually extend her life — and increase its quality — a new study shows.
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco found that loneliness plays a large role in the decline so often associated with old age. The study followed 1,600 adults, with an average age of 71 — despite controlling for socioeconomic status and health, the lonely consistently held higher mortality rates. Nearly 23% of lonely participants died within six years of the study, as opposed to only 14% of those that reported adequate companionship.
“The need we’ve had our entire lives — people who know us, value us, who bring us joy — that never goes away,” Barbara Moscowitz, senior geriatric social worker at Massachusetts General Hospital, explained to The New York Times.