Loneliness among elderly people can lead to a downward spiral where poor mental health is intertwined with isolation, according to research. Statistics from the Ageing Well National Science Challenge show roughly 10 per cent of people over 65 feel lonely all or most of the time , with those rates rising to 50 per cent for people aged over 80. Researchers Ella Schwartz and Howard Litwin last year published their work on the relationship between the mental health and social networks of older people in the Journals of Gerontology – the US’s first scientific journals dedicated to ageing. As part of their study, they examined the chicken and egg situation of mental health and isolation. READ MORE: * Blokes and their sheds * We need to talk about loneliness, New Zealand * Loneliness: The darkness of depression and anxiety They spent years gathering data from close to 15,000 participants […]