Loneliness at any age is an upsetting issue – and one which can have serious health ramifications. Older people are especially vulnerable to loneliness, which is why we offer a Companionship Care service to help prevent isolation in the older generation.
Loneliness in the elderly
It is easy to see why people’s social circles narrow as they get older: retiring results in less daily interaction with colleagues/customers, mobility problems can lead to attending fewer social activities and events, and sadly, close friends, neighbours and even spouses pass away.
All of these aspects can result in elderly people becoming increasingly isolated – and although it’s easy to see why it happens, this doesn’t mean it should be accepted. Loneliness can lead to a serious decline in overall health and wellbeing; it can cause severe depression and anxiety and even a deterioration in physical health.
And this is a widespread problem. According to Age UK, 3.6 million older people in the UK live alone, of whom more than two million are over the age of 75. More than a million older people say they go for over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member, and nearly half of people over the age of 65 say that television or pets are their main form of company.
For the elderly, loneliness and social isolation can become a cycle: they are often too proud to ask for help, and over time they therefore find it difficult to reconnect with people.
The benefits of Companionship Care
Our brains thrive on social interaction – having a strong network of family, friends and colleagues makes us feel supported and valued. This is the case for all ages of people, but becomes more apparent as our social groups shrink as we get older.
This is where Companionship Care comes in. Companion carers are there to develop a friendship with whomever they are caring for. They are there to talk to, have lunch with, or play a board game with. The value of being able to have a chat with someone – be it about the weather, books, or reminiscing about the past – should never be underestimated.
Our Companionship Care service
Here at Unique, Companionship Care is a key part of our service offering. People often associate at-home care with physical help – such as day-to-day tasks, showering or dressing, but the truth is that many of our clients are simply looking for company and friendship.
We carefully match our clients with their Caregivers according to common interests and character traits. Companionship Care can vary from an hour a day to just a few hours a week – our care services start at a minimum of one hour, allowing our Caregivers the chance to spend time with their clients, free from the pressure of having to move on. As a result, they are able to develop meaningful relationships and truly get to know their clients.
Our Companionship services include:
• Companionship and conversation
• Assistance with appointments
• Making travel arrangements
• Help with reading
• Participating in hobbies and crafts
• Monitoring diet and eating
• Accompanying to lunch or dinner
• Attending plays, concerts or clubs.
Find out more
Read more about our Companionship services here. If you are interested in arranging companionship care for a loved one then get in touch to discuss your needs further.