Loneliness is the “hidden killer” of elderly people
Lonely older people are at increased risk of depression, lack of exercise and poor appetite. A recent survey stated that one in five people aren’t aware of the link of poor health and emotional concerns with loneliness.
A lack of social interaction can make elderly people more vulnerable to depression and to problems such as excessive drinking, poor diet and a reduction in exercise.
Loneliness adversely affects the immune and cardio-vascular systems and a lack of social interaction is linked to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
The problems of loneliness and isolation need to be put on an equal footing with any other condition associated with ageing. Ending loneliness should be part of the solution to the challenge of reforming care and support.
Almost one in five elderly people sees family, friends or neighbours less than once a week – and about one in 10 of them experiences such social interaction less than once a month.
Even though your loved one lives with others and some have made a genuine friendships with other residents & their family members doesn’t mean they don’t experience loneliness.
I encourage you to try and persuade your loved one to join in with the offered activities; partial participation of ones presence can provide comfort of not feeling alone.
Family and Friends visits do not have to be lengthy in time as long as they are quality visits. Bring your loved ones favorite music and share and leave family photos.
If your loved one is able to eat a favorite family meal, bring it and share it in the private dining room and reminisce of the old times.
Shortly spring will be here and the Friendship Garden is a perfect place to bring a pet for some most welcome cuddle and petting time.
Does Dad have a favourite author bring that book and read together and for Mum arrive with a few of her favourite flowers.
Take the time to share your loved ones story with the care staff so our time with them can be more of a personal nature and interest.