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How Can Live-in Home Care Help With Loneliness?

According to the Campaign to End Loneliness, social isolation is a rapidly increasing problem in the UK at present. The organisation reports that over half of people over the age of 75 live alone, with almost four million older people reporting that their television sets are their main source of company. Around 11 per cent of elderly UK residents report that they have contact with other people, whether neighbours, friends or family, less than once a month.

Causes of loneliness

Older people may have lost their spouse, and as their closest friends pass away or move to be nearer to their families, they can quickly experience the isolation of loneliness, particularly if they have any health problems that make it hard for them to get out and about. But even those in perfect health may find that loneliness has a profound impact on their day-to-day lives.

Financial problems may be a factor, as your loved one tries to save money by staying at home, rather than getting out and about. They may not be able to drive, or health problems may prevent them from providing their own transport, leading to a greater sense of loss and isolation.

Or they may be too worried to leave home and venture out alone. Many older people in rural areas feel particularly isolated, especially when reduced public transport services make it difficult for them to reach their nearest town.

The impact of loneliness

Research has proven that loneliness is detrimental to health, with one report estimating that the condition is as harmful as smoking fifteen cigarettes each day.

Loneliness is considered to be a greater risk to health than a lack of physical activity, and can be more damaging than obesity, with some research suggesting that loneliness can increase the chance of mortality by as much as 26 per cent.

People who are lonely are more susceptible to developing high blood pressure, stroke and coronary heart disease. Loneliness also increases a person’s chances of developing dementia by over 60 per cent, making it a very real threat to good health.

Dulcie’s Care Story

In this short video, Mary and Colin explain how Dulcie’s live-in Elder carer, Sarah, has become part of the family.

They discuss how live-in care has allowed Dulcie to stay independent in her own home, while making a new friend at the same time.

Living with Live in Care: Dulcie's Story

Residential care doesn’t ease loneliness

The residential care home model has long been thought to combat the isolation of loneliness, but new research shows that this is not the case. Where older people move out of their own familiar surroundings and into residential care, the loss of their possessions and much-loved homes can cause feelings of loneliness to increase.

Unable to dictate the rhythm of their own lives, some older residents can feel lonelier than ever before, leading to a greater sense of loss and isolation.

The benefits of live-in care at home

The idea of live-in care has become increasingly popular in recent years, offering a practical and viable alternative to residential care. Your loved one can remain in their own home, promoting a degree of independence, whilst enjoying constant companionship whenever they are in need of it.

Elderly care in the home is as much about companion care as it is about helping older people to cope with the day-to-day tasks. Whereas some older people are in need of highly-trained specialist carers, such as those requiring advanced dementia care, for example, one of the most helpful aspects of having a live-in carer is the constant presence of a friendly face within the home.

Companies such as Elder pride themselves on seeking out the very best match between carer and care recipient. By making sure that both parties have interests, hobbies and pastimes in common, there is a greater chance that a strong friendship will result from the shared common ground, making the experience more enjoyable for both parties.

Shared activities and a common world view ensure that the carer and your loved one will have plenty of things to talk about, which helps to encourage a strong bond.

The in-home carer will provide help and assistance wherever your loved one needs it. This may involve housework, shopping, meal preparation and medical appointments. The carer will encourage your loved one to join in with social activities, which are important for good mental and physical health, and will ensure that your loved one eats healthy and nutritious meals every day.

Whatever your loved one’s plans, the carer can help to facilitate them, ensuring that they have an interesting and stimulating series of activities that promote good health and social interaction. This alone provides great peace of mind for the extended family, who may be struggling to cope with the increasing needs of a lonely older family member.

Knowing that your loved one is well looked after throughout the day and night can be a great source of comfort, allowing you to live your own life to the full, without worrying about the impact of loneliness on your loved one.

Call us for expert live-in care advice

Older people may have lost their spouse, and as their closest friends pass away or move to be nearer to their families, they can quickly experience the isolation of loneliness, particularly if they have any health problems that make it hard for them to get out and about. But even those in perfect health may find that loneliness has a profound impact on their day-to-day lives.

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