Studies now provide a reason for siblings to stay in touch with one another and their parents as they grow older.
Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition cites a recent study from London to say research on loneliness shows it leads to potentially serious problems.
"22 percent of people in the U.K., in England, Scotland, and Wales, who are over the age of 65 do not speak to more than three people in a week,” he relays. "And many of those people never speak to anybody in a week, so you have this situation of an epidemic of loneliness."
The data also shows the link between health problems and loneliness and isolation. In fact, it is even worse than obesity as it affects health.
Further, a meta-analysis of 148 studies released in the past "concluded that a person who is experiencing social isolation, that their risk of death, an early death, is 60 percent higher," Schadenberg explains. "As for euthanasia and assisted suicide, we know by the data that quite a few people ask for euthanasia and assisted suicide because they're lonely and they feel they have no purpose for living."
With today's mobility, children as grown-ups often move elsewhere for the sake of jobs, which unfortunately makes it easier for them to become detached from family members. So Schadenberg says it is incumbent on society and on people who care about others to recognize the importance of being with others because it encourages the opposite of loneliness.