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The importance of companionship for the elderly

According to a report by Age UK, more than a million elderly people describe themselves as being lonely. With research indicating that loneliness can be a crucial factor in developing Alzheimer’s disease – apparently, older people who report that they experience severe loneliness are twice as likely to develop the condition – it’s clear that this is a problem which urgently needs to be addressed.

Our society has changed dramatically over the past few decades, and families no longer spend as much time together as they used to. The global society has made it easier than ever to communicate with people on the other side of the world, but we tend to forget about the older generation, many of whom are unfamiliar with digital technology.

Yet as people age, their social networks often fall apart, leaving them alone, with only their television, radio and pets to keep them company. A fear of falling over may prevent them from getting out and about on their own, and if they are unable to drive, they can quickly start to feel as though they are prisoners in their own home.

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The benefits of companionship

Having someone to talk to, and interact with, can literally make a lonely older person’s day. Knowing that someone is coming to spend time with them acts as a powerful motivator to get up, bathe and get dressed in clean clothes.

Reminiscing about days gone by, interacting with other people and passing on snippets of wisdom gained over a lifetime can all help a lonely older person to re-engage with the world.

‘Use it or lose it’ applies to mental ability every bit as much as it applies to physical movement, and a stimulating and engaging conversation can quickly dispel the misery of loneliness.

It’s not hard to see that a mind that isn’t exercised can soon start to atrophy, and once a person has become steeped in loneliness, it can be difficult to raise interest in life again.

Elderly care solutions

We all have families and homes that require our attention, and with the majority of people now working, finding the time to spend with an elderly loved one isn’t always as easy as you might expect.

Yet there’s no sense in worrying about our lack of time. It’s still possible to ensure that our elderly relatives are receiving the attention and mental stimulation that they require, by providing a suitable companion for them.

Care at home doesn’t just cover dementia care or provide for people with poor health. Live-in care is an ideal way of ensuring that your loved one is safe, comfortable and being taken care of at all times, and provides your ageing relative with company and support whenever they are in need of it.

What our customers say

“The carer you sent me is fantastic. My mum loves her. She’s kind, caring and works as a team with me.”

Angela, Manchester

What does a companion carer do?

Companion care can be arranged according to your loved one’s needs. Perhaps they need someone to call in a couple of times a week, to spend time chatting over a cup of tea, and maybe accompany them on occasional outings or shopping trips.

For elderly people who are feeling exceptionally lonely, or who are experiencing some health problems, or are just feeling particularly vulnerable living alone, a live-in companion carer is an ideal solution.

It allows your loved one to continue to enjoy living in their own home, but also provides 24-hours of care at home, with someone on hand day and night, should they need help or support.

A live-in carer will make sure that your elderly relative can stay in touch with friends and family who live further afield, by utilising social media and helping them with emails and video phone calls, if this is something that they would like help with.

The carer will make sure that your loved one doesn’t fall prey to doorstep con artists and internet scammers, who are known to prey on the elderly and will be on hand to deal with any emergencies that arise.

From helping with the shopping and cooking to lending a hand with the household chores, the live-in companion carer will happily tackle a wide range of jobs to ensure that your relative is kept stimulated, well-nourished and in the best of health.

Someone to have a conversation with

Talking is something that we all enjoy, and for an elderly person, knowing that there is someone close at hand that they can engage in conversation can make a massive difference to their lives.

Many members of the older generation have skills that are dying out, but that they would love to pass on to younger people, such as embroidery, knitting and crochet, and merely showing someone how to do these things can foster a good sense of self-esteem.

Days out and activities are more fun with someone to share them with, and just the presence of another adult in the home can be all that is needed to spur your elderly relative into getting out and about and socialising, enabling them to get the maximum amount of enjoyment every day.

You may not be able to be a constant presence in your elderly relative’s life, but with the assistance of a dedicated carer, you can stop spending time worrying about them, secure in the knowledge that they are safe and content.