How Can Live-in Home Care Help With Loneliness?
Live-in home care can help with Loneliness by:
- Providing companionship
- combatting isolation
- Enabling them to keep their possessions
- Promoting independence
- Providing nutritious meals
- Maintaining familiarity
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.
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.
Keeping Seniors Active: How to Care for Ageing Parents
As people age, it’s inevitable that they begin to slow down, but this shouldn’t mean they cease to be active. Keeping fit and healthy in old age is important, for both physical health and emotional wellbeing, and finding ways to keep your loved ones active is a positive step in caring for them. Staying active can help preserve a sense of independence too, as well as helping to lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression or dementia - all conditions associated with a sedentary lifestyle.
Loneliness: How to Care for Ageing Parents
Loneliness can profoundly impact the health and state of mind of older people. Sometimes it can be due to the death of a spouse or a close friend, or it could be that they just don’t have enough of the meaningful social contact they need every day.
Care for the Elderly: Grooming and Hygiene Guide
Maintaining good personal hygiene is important as your loved one ages, but it is not always easy to intervene if you feel they are not coping well. Poor hygiene can result in uncomfortable infections and skin complaints, so to avoid this, you or your loved one’s caregiver may have to encourage them tactfully to accept some assistance. They may be more willing to agree to the support on offer if they realise that it will enable them to retain a level of independent living.
Finances: How to Care for Ageing Parents
Difficult as it might be to contemplate, there may come a time in your parents’ lives when they are no longer able to make decisions about their own finances. Choosing to step in and take over the management of your loved one’s financial arrangements can be tricky. Even if they can see it is in their best interests, many elderly people will still find it hard to accept and may view it as a loss of independence.
How Can Live-in Home Care Help With Alzheimer's?
Many professionals believe that enabling people who have dementia to remain in their own home offers many benefits compared to placing them in a residential elderly care facility. If your loved one is living with Alzheimer’s disease, consider how their quality of life could be improved by live-in care at home.