I just finished a conversation with my daughter (working on her doctorate in gerontology) who expressed frustration with the very limited academic perspective on ‘social networking’ within the ‘aging and aged’ population. Nowhere in the research readings that have been assigned to her has there been a single mention of ‘loneliness’ among our older population.
I reminded her that she will continue to notice gaping holes in approaches to development at the older end of the human life spectrum just as we know they exist on the front end (infancy and early childhood) – regarding the impact of attachment relationships.
I am posting here some links I pulled together to send to my daughter. I believe that those who suffer from insecure and unsafe attachments in their earliest most critically important stages of body-brain building months of life are almost guaranteed to suffer from their Trauma Altered Development over the course of their entire lifespan.
Sadly, information about problems that concern older people is likely to ignore difficulties across the lifespan that trauma in infancy and childhood creates. It seems those within the ‘ivory towers’ of academia most often design research that meets only their own views of the reality of the chosen few rather than address the reality that huge segments of our population face.
I encourage my daughter not to give up on her studies. I assure her that many of the conflicts she feels right now are connected to her much broader base of understanding about people. She has much to offer to those who need help most – no matter what age span she focuses her attention on.
The actions it takes to gain a doctorate happen within an academia that works within its own limitations about what ‘research proves’ at the same time that its own biases are denied/ignored. As society truly begins to understand that the experiences a person has within their first 33 months of life (conception to age 2) profoundly impact what happens on the ‘old age’ of the lifespan (and everything that happens in between) there will be new research that ‘proves’ an entirely different picture about human well-being than does today’s limited and often inaccurate research that has been accepted as being ‘true’ thus far.
Because my daughter is one of these new researchers her road to her doctorate might seem a lonely one. As her momma I believe that the more she believes in and trusts herself, the smoother her road will be.
Aging and Loneliness
Learning to live with loneliness – [It would be better to help people learn how to diminish loneliness, I think!]
Loneliness can speed aging
midlife loneliness speeds aging (probably related to above)
Important one –
Loneliness, depression and sociability in old age
How to stay connected as you age
Dealing with the loneliness of aging
Aging gorilla and the bunny
Aging, loneliness, longevity – emotional wellness – healing power of friendships
Aging – deadly for men
Combining term ‘attachment’ with ‘aging loneliness’ –
The Impact of Relationships on Aging, Longevity and Health
Important – Cambridge research –
Being alone in later life
Research – Factors Associated With Loneliness of Noninstitutionalized and Institutionalized Older Adults
The Relationship of Loneliness and Stress to Human-Animal Attachment in the Elderly.
Social correlates of loneliness in later life (1989 research)
The impact of depression and sense of coherence on emotional and social loneliness among nursing home residents without cognitive impairment – a questionnaire survey
Loneliness and the aging
Feelings of subjective emotional loneliness: an exploration of attachment
research – attachment – aging – brain
“Repeated stress enhances vulnerability to neural dysfunction that is cumulative over the course of the lifespan. “
Child abuse, neglect and trauma survivors have been greatly impacted by ‘repeated stress’ over their entire lifespan — start to finish. There is great power for positive change possible for all of us who fully comprehend that connecting what happens at the beginning of a human’s life all the way through to the end of life is the ONLY way to consider human reality accurately.
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