Loneliness can have an impact on anybody’s life – no matter your personal situation. However, loneliness in old age is a growing concern.
As human beings, we often crave social interaction from others in order to feel content, whole and happy. Having someone there for you, to take care of you, and to share the good times with can help you feel hugely satisfied. This applies to family, friends, colleagues and more; as many of us have an abundance of people we can turn to. But, just imagine you didn’t have a list of people that can help you. Do we take those people for granted?
Loneliness can affect us all at some stage, and it can have considerable impacts on your overall health and wellbeing. Loneliness in elderly age groups is especially common as older age brackets are vulnerable to losing regular human interaction, this can lead to a number of health risks. This applies to both mental and physical health, as loneliness can lead to serious conditions in various forms of cardiovascular disease, accelerated brain ageing, insomnia, and even dementia. This highlights the importance of us coming together to be there for those who are lonely, whenever they need us.
Loneliness Awareness Week is designed to raise awareness of loneliness, encouraging people to speak about it openly. This helps convey a powerful message that resonates with large volumes of people in local communities, the UK and beyond that they are not alone. Research shows that people have too much pride to admit that they are lonely. Defeating this stigma associated with loneliness is a key priority to ensure we all find the help we need.
Loneliness Awareness Week 2020 takes place from the 15th to the 19th June, with a focus towards understanding loneliness one conversation at a time. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has impacted various aspects of our lifestyle in recent months, the face-to-face events have this year been replaced with a virtual campaign.
This is called ‘One Less Lonely Voice’ – and the aim is to empower everyone to build their understanding of loneliness to help ourselves and others manage the negative feelings that we are often susceptible to.
Loneliness in old age is especially common as elderly lonely people are vulnerable to spending huge periods of time within social isolation. This can be due to a number of factors, including getting older and weaker, leaving the workplace, the deaths of spouses and friends, through disability or illness. Quite frankly, the list of reasons for loneliness in old age goes on and on.
Social isolation is easy to now relate to as we have experienced the impact of living a restricted lifestyle within the same walls each day. Although it feels like a lifetime, in reality, this has been a short period of time in comparison to others. There are elderly lonely people that are currently living alone that have experienced the feelings you may be feeling for a substantially longer period of time – with serious impacts on their mental and physical health.
According to Age UK, more than 2 million people in England over the age of 75 live alone. The same research proved that over half of these elderly lonely individuals go for over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member. This is why we must take action together to combat loneliness as it can have serious negative effects on elderly lonely individuals.
It’s extremely common that elderly people will feel lonely, but not everyone knows where to turn. You can help elderly lonely people find the help they need to enrich their lifestyle once again and help feel happy. Just knowing someone cares is often enough to help loneliness in elderly people – and you could make all the difference just by reaching out.
Age UK recommends you do the following to help combat loneliness in elderly people.
Be there for those that you know so they are aware that someone cares. This includes asking how someone is feeling, listening and comforting the elderly lonely person and asking if there is anything you can do to help.
Be patient and offer gentle reassurance. When somebody is lonely, they may get irritable and feel misunderstood. Try to recognise this if your efforts are ever going unnoticed.
Encourage and support the elderly lonely individual so they are aware it’s possible to get the right help. Making new social connections is entirely possible, both naturally and through services designed to tackle loneliness – such as Trinity’s Companionship Care services.
The Trinity Homecare team have provided for elderly people for over 20 years, providing time, care and heartfelt support for those who rely on us to live the life they love. We are proud to offer a range of home care services for various different conditions across both visiting and live-in care.
We are here to support life’s journeys, and sometimes, it’s the littlest things that can make a difference. We offer ‘outstanding’ rated Companionship Care Services that help tackle loneliness in old age. This can be flexible to your exact desires and can range from as little to as often as you would like.
For example, if you or your loved one want someone to pop in once in a while to provide company, care and conversation – companionship care is perfect for you. Loneliness in elderly people can also be combated by doing the things they love. We all have hobbies and interests, and maintaining these later in life can be key to a healthy and happy mindset.
Here are just some examples of what Trinity’s Companionship Care can provide:
Trinity’s Companionship Care services unearth a number of health benefits, including greater wellbeing, less loneliness and isolation, engaging conversation, maintaining active interests and role within the community, building a relationship, peace of mind for family members… the list goes on.
Trinity Homecare’s day to day companionship service is available across these locations. The minimum duration of a visit is 30 minutes and you can book as many or as few weekly visits as you wish to do as much or as little as you would like together.
If you feel that Trinity Homecare is right for you, then contact a friendly member of our team today to discuss your flexible options in beating loneliness.