All people need connections that matter. However, according to the Campaign to End Loneliness, social isolation is a rapidly increasing problem in the UK.
The organisation reports that over half of people over 75 live alone, with 11% of elderly UK residents reportedly having contact with other people, including friends, family, or neighbours, less than once a month.
Causes of loneliness
There are many factors that can contribute to people feeling lonely. A common one is that older people may have lost their wife, husband, or partner. And as their close friends pass away, or move to be nearer their families, they can quickly experience the loneliness of isolation.
Although people with perfect health can still be impacted by isolation and loneliness, health problems are also a factor, making it hard for people to get out and about. Some elderly people may be too worried to leave home and venture out alone.
In rural areas, many older people can feel isolated, especially when public service transportation is reduced, making it harder for them to reach their nearest town.
Financial problems are another factor. People trying to save money rather than going out or being unable to travel can lead to a greater sense of loss and isolation.
The impact of loneliness
Studies show that loneliness is detrimental to health. In fact, research suggests that it increases the chance of early mortality by 26%. Reports estimate that being lonely is as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
People who are lonely are more susceptible to developing high blood pressure, strokes, and coronary heart disease. The chances of developing dementia are also 60% higher, making it a high risk to one’s health.
Benefits of home care
The residential care home model was long thought of as the solution to combating loneliness while providing care for the elderly. However, new research shows this may not be the case. When older people are moved from their own familiar surroundings and unable to dictate the pace and rhythm of their own lives, it can lead to a greater sense of loss and isolation.
In recent years, home care has become an increasingly popular alternative to residential care. You or your loved one can remain at home, promoting greater independence while receiving care and companionship as and when needed.
And home care is as much about companionship as it is about helping people manage their day-to-day tasks. One of the most helpful aspects of home care is having a friendly face and someone to chat to regularly.
Making strong connections that last
At Choice Care we ensure that our clients are matched with the best carer for them. We offer a service that is tailored to the needs of the individual and make sure there is common ground between both the person giving and receiving care. This helps to encourage a strong bond and makes sure it’s an enjoyable experience for all.
Your home carer will provide assistance wherever it’s needed. This can involve housework, cooking and meal prep, washing and getting dressed. But it can also include accompanying you or your loved one to social events. Not only does this allow people to get out and about, it also ensures they feel a part of their community.
This, along with the regular companionship of the carer will reduce the feeling of loneliness and have a huge, positive impact on both mental and physical wellbeing.
If you or your loved one would like more information on the positive impact of homecare then please contact us or call 01254 504905. With 25 years of experience, we can offer plenty of advice and guidance and are more than happy to help.