It is a sad fact that loneliness can affect anyone, of any age, at any time of their lives.
It is estimated that around 28% of British adults experience loneliness at least some of the time and some even feel trapped within their own home.
According to new figures almost one million people aged over 60 feel lonelier at Christmas than at any other time of the year.
There are a number of different factors or life events which can lead to or enhance loneliness, with poor health, losing family or friends being just a couple of them. This can lead to depression and other health issues.
Research has also shown that people living alone are more likely to be admitted to hospitals and day care centres, but with cuts being made on a regular basis, these services are constantly under pressure. This is where companionship plays a key role; over 80% of us would prefer to have face-to-face interactions with other people.
Carers, by nature, want to help and support their customers and providing companionship is one of the simplest ways that they can do this effectively. Often, it is the small acts that make the biggest difference; simply going for a walk or sharing a cup of coffee can mean the world to a carer’s customer, and can help them to build their confidence. Even a trip to the local supermarket can provide significant benefits to mental health and well-being.
Karen Lewis, Operations Director commented:
“We are proud to have over 1,000 families receiving care over the Christmas period. Our carers are happy to give up seeing their own families to be able to provide everything from personal care to companionship, they take pride in going the extra mile to keep our families happy. They love to be able to provide the valuable emotional support which makes such a huge difference to the individual and their families over the festive period.”
Sophie, one of our Care Managers was delighted this week to be able to bring a customer who suffers with dementia home for Christmas too, Sophie told us it was incredibly emotional and made her so proud to be able to do this for a lady, so that she was able to spend quality time at home with her family and this is the reason Sophie loves her job so much, she commented:
“ Today I got to tell a lady living with dementia that she would be able to spend Christmas in her own home, that’s why I love what I do so much – moments like that are priceless.”
Our carers – or companions can help people suffering with loneliness. Here at Helping Hands, we have cared for individuals across a range of ages, from university students to centurions and all of our carers are eager to get to know their customers on a personal level. They are also more than willing to arrange social events and will get involved in what matters most to their customers.