Loneliness. Often described as the feeling that we get when we desire social contact with other people. But loneliness is not always the same as being alone. People may choose to be alone and live happily without much contact with other people, while others may find this a very lonely experience.
For many of our clients, they are in the latter category, through sad passings of loved ones or families living far away.According to Age UK, more than 2 million people in England over the age of 75 live alone, and more than a million older people say they go for over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member.
In our own research of over 250 people over the age of 60 throughout the UK, almost half of all respondents (45%) said they had experienced significant feelings of loneliness during the pandemic and as a result, a further 4 in 10 had also experienced low mood, while 2 in 10 had struggled with anxiety and 1 in 10 had battled depression.
Here at Radfield Home Care Havering, we acknowledge that sadly many of our clients do often get lonely. Before the pandemic, we noticed that one of our clients experienced an obvious change in behaviour and said to her Care Professionals that she felt lonely and upset a lot of the time.
Her son lived far away and she missed him, as she couldn’t see him as regularly as she wanted to. As a result, there was a decline in her mental health and wellbeing, so as a response, we offered to have Care Professionals visit her twice a day, instead of her one regular visit.In this time, she was able to build better relationships with her Care Professional’s, enjoyed more social contact and was able to do activities that she enjoyed, such as playing cards. We even invited her into our office for a cup of tea and a chat, so she felt more connected to other people. Her regular Care Professional’s noted that she became a lot happier and although she still missed her son, she felt less lonely as a result.
March 2020; the start of the global pandemic that has controlled much of our lives for the last two years has caused loneliness to further increase, making the cases much higher. Not being allowed out into the local community to visit friends and family, or even have family and friends visit them; this has been tough for all of our clients, but for some this feeling of isolation has continued even after the lockdown restrictions have been lifted.
Radfield Home Care is a companionship-led company, our community of Care Professionals go above and beyond for each of our clients, assessing their emotional wellbeing and encouraging them to participate in activities that they enjoy doing. This could be playing cards, watching television, playing board games or reading; anything to help make their day and hopefully prevent them from feeling lonely or upset.
The last two years have had a profound impact on everyone’s day-to-day lives and their mental health. Radfield Home Care aims to go that extra mile to help our clients through difficult periods of loneliness, now and always.
If you would like to find out more about Radfield Home Care and the home care and companionship support services offered, you can visit www.radfieldhomecare.co.uk/097/about-us or email us at [email protected] or call us on 01708 609 364.
Get in touch with your local Radfield Home Care office today and find out more about the support we offer and the difference we can make.