A common affliction for the elderly who live alone is depression, and many studies have found that the rate of this illness is increasing amongst the elderly in society. Although extreme isolation can cause depression in individuals of any age, it appears more likely that the elderly will be affected by it, as mobility becomes more difficult at an older age.
Unfortunately, mental health care for the elderly is often not seen as a priority, as it can be costly, although technology may be able to provide some solutions. Many charities have begun working with the elderly to offer solutions to loneliness, with some even going so far as to try virtual reality headsets. Although this would also be a costly solution to attempt to provide to every elderly person, it may be able to alleviate the symptoms for some older members of society.
Unfortunately, as the problem of loneliness is often due to external factors, antidepressants may not be useful as a treatment, although it is often the first thing which medical practitioners may wish to try. It is essential for anyone taking care of an elderly person to check for signs of depression regularly.