Published On: Mon, Jul 27th, 2020

How a Live-in Carer Can Help Fight Elderly Isolation

According to Age UK, there are some 2 million over 75s who live alone in the UK, including more than a million who regularly report no contact with family or friends. Loneliness among older people is now something of an epidemic in the UK and is a leading cause of depression and illness.

For many elderly people, the TV set or radio is their main source of company, and this is often because of social isolation through losing a spouse, retiring from work or through developing illness or disability which makes it hard for them to get out and about or take part in society in any meaningful way. Sometimes it can be a lack of money which prevents an older person from getting out, as they try to ration what money they have, or they may have no access to transport.

Eventually, staying in and not seeing anybody becomes a way of life.

photo/ StockSnap

How Loneliness Affects Elderly People

It is widely accepted that loneliness is a driving factor behind ill-health in older people, and for many reasons. People who are isolated may start to neglect themselves by drinking or smoking more. Healthy eating becomes impossible as they become less inclined to make the effort to cook a proper meal, and this results in either losing weight or, more frequently increased obesity. This is a factor in other serious conditions like Type 2 Diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke risk and high blood pressure. Research has shown that loneliness increases the chance of developing dementia by around 60%. 

It is clear then that steps should be taken to help your elderly loved one to combat isolation and achieve better health as much as possible and this is often best achieved through home care services so they can live the best life that they can.

How Care in Their Own Home Can Help

Live-in care has increased in popularity over recent years as the idea of residential care homes has become more unappealing. As we age and see the things we take for granted disappearing over the horizon, it becomes more crucial for our health and mental wellbeing to keep familiar things close by.

This means being able to stay in the home we’ve known for years surrounded by familiar and much-loved possessions and routines while being able to retain our independence and dignity.

When it becomes difficult for family or friends to properly look after an elderly person, a live-in carer can provide all the assistance needed to provide care in their own home. This can range from doing housework and cooking, helping with personal care and even looking after pets. A carer can accompany their elderly patient on outings and to hospital or GP appointments and encourage them to take part in social activities. Monitoring the patient’s health and arranging timely medical intervention is one of the main tasks a carer carries out as they’re best placed to observe the elderly person on a daily basis.

Most importantly, a carer provides companionship and friendship, which is the best antidote to loneliness there is. 

Author: Joanne Jeffries

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