American women usually live about five years longer than men, on average, which means there may be a lot of older women who are coping with loneliness. A study is underway at the University of Northern Iowa to determine how some of those women are succeeding in their newly-single lives. Elaine Eshbaugh is a professor of family studies at UNI and runs the university’s gerontology program.
Eshbaugh says, "There are a lot of older women who live alone who, although they miss their husbands and although they may feel isolated at times, some of them do enjoy the independence of living alone. Some of them enjoy being able to watch what they want on TV, being able to decorate their house like they want." She says the goal of the study is to interview dozens of older women in northeast Iowa who live along and find out how they beat the blues.
Eshbaugh says she’s trying to learn more about the differences between the women who are lonely and those who are doing okay and what sorts of things can be do to help more older women minimize their loneliness. She says more women are needed for the study, adding, they’ll be interviewed for about 90 minutes and will be compensated for their time.
Eshbaugh says they’re recruiting women 65 and older who live alone, who were never married or are divorced or widowed, or have a husband in a nursing home. For more information on the study, call (319) 273-6083.