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Elderly 'more likely to move to nursing home following bereavement'

Elderly 'more likely to move to nursing home following bereavement'
3rd June 2008

New research has highlighted that elderly adults are more likely to seek residence in care homes following the death of their spouse.

A study conducted at the University of Helsinki in Finland showed that people were more likely to move to a nursing care home in the first month after their partner's death.

The team also noted that during this period older individuals were three times more likely to take up long-term care than if they were still living with their husband or wife, reports Reuters.

Elina Nihtila, who conducted the study, told the news provider that people may seek care so soon after bereavement as they have lost their main form of support and no longer have help with day-to-day activities such as cooking and cleaning.

She added that such a loss can make individuals depressed and fatigued, cause them to lose their appetite or even become more susceptible to physical illnesses.

This follows news from the Harvard School of Public Health that social integration could delay memory decline in older people.