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Elderly Widowers are Healthier if They Remarry

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Have you ever noticed in a couple that’s been together for a long time, when one passes away, the other partner becomes ill or dies a relatively short time after?

It’s called broken heart syndrome, for widowers the only way to improve the health of the surviving spouse is to remarry, a new study finds.Swedish scientists at the University of Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska Academy have proven in a study that men who find a new partner after the loss of their spouse, are less likely to develop physical or mental illness afterward. In a study of 691 men, it was noticed that the men who met another partner four to five years after the passing of their spouse, were better able to cope with the loss, and lead healthier lives.

At the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry conference, it was revealed that seniors who did not remarry after the death of their spouse, had an 83 percent more chance of developing dementia. They also confirmed that widowers who remarry also have less of a chance of facing financial difficulty and depression.

Many times the guilt associated with remarrying keeps a person from finding another mate after their spouse dies. Researchers at Rutgers University determined that although more men than women tend to get married after a spouses death, the numbers of elderly people remarrying overall are pretty low. Only 20 percent of elderly widowers ever remarry.

Experts in these studies have also said that the chance of using antidepressants and sleeping pills also increase for those who do not remarry after the passing of a spouse.

Psychologist and Sex Expert Dr. Eleanor Hamilton believes the reason older widowers suffer more is because many times their wives are the only person whom they have an intimate connection with. Since many men may not communicate their deepest feelings to their male friends, as women will sometimes do, they are often left without anyone to confide in after the passing of a spouse. Dr. Hamilton also says that chances of remarrying become slimmer the older a widower gets.

Attempting to move forward in life after a spouses death can be one of the biggest challenges for anyone, and starting all over for the elderly can be even harder. It is important for seniors to seek companionship, and be open to finding love again. The experts have shown that love can actually improve their future health.

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