File[/caption] You’d do anything for your mom. She’s been your friend, support, confidant and role model throughout your life. But you’re not as young as you used to be, which means she’s getting up there in age as well. Death is a natural part of life, but here’s how experts say you can extend your mom’s life out a bit longer. First, here’s what’s shortening her lifespan Researchers doing a study on loneliness in older folks published some startling findings back in 2012: “Among participants who were older than 60 years, loneliness was a predictor of functional decline and death,” the study says. How big of a factor? Well, after controlling other influential factors of the 1600 participants, researchers found that over a six-year follow-up period about 23 percent of those that identified as “lonely” died. Only about 14 percent of non-lonely participants had died after the same amount of time. But let’s take a second to focus on an even scarier phrase from their findings: “Functional decline.” What does that mean? The study not only found that loneliness is a factor affecting mortality, but also one that leads to it. Researchers found that subjects who identified as “lonely” also experienced increased disability, decreased mobility and increased difficulty with upper extremity tasks.