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Loneliness at Christmas and Elderly Live-in Care

Loneliness in the elderly is a topic of conversation that many of us are familiar with. H

Loneliness in the elderly is a topic of conversation that many of us are familiar with. Here at the Live in Care Company, we strive to find support and the right carer for every customer, to ensure they feel comfortable and supported in their own home. In this article we look at the topic of loneliness, the impact it can have, and how elderly live-in care can help.

This guide will cover:

What causes loneliness?

The impact of loneliness

How Elderly Live-in Care Can Combat Loneliness

Mobility Assistance

Regular Company

Assistance with household tasks

Assistance with running errands

How does live-in care work at Christmas?

 

What causes loneliness?

Loneliness is more than just being by oneself; it is the feeling of isolation and disconnectedness and is often accompanied by an unpleasant feeling. Loneliness can be attributed to both external and internal factors. For instance, external factors may include being retired, losing someone close to you, physical isolation or moving home to a new community. Loneliness can also be due to internal factors such as depression and low self-esteem, which may cause people to feel more alone or be less likely to engage in social events.

 

The elderly can be particularly vulnerable to loneliness since they are no longer working, they may have lost people close to them and they may feel less able to get out of the house due to having less energy or more physical restrictions.

 

The impact of loneliness

Loneliness can have a significant impact on mental health, causing low mood and less motivation. It can also have an impact on physical health with studies showing that loneliness can contribute to earlier mortality and that it increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, and dementia. Those suffering from dementia can particularly benefit from live-in care services. If you feel your loved one may be suffering from dementia, you can read our guide on distinguishing dementia signs here.

Top Tip: This guide gives advice on activities for those with dementia, that will help with cognition, memory and familiarity.

Loneliness at Christmas

 

Christmas can be a particularly challenging time for those that are alone since the holidays are associated with being with family and friends. Most of us take time off from work during this time of year and spend it with those that we love. Memories of these times can be difficult for the elderly who may be widowed and alone. Many will not receive gifts, or have anyone to spend the day with. There can be pressure to be happy during the festive period which adds to the feelings of loneliness.

 

How Elderly Live-in Care Can Combat Loneliness

 

A live-in carer is able to help care for elderly relatives whilst also providing them with that much-needed companionship. There are many benefits of companionship for the elderly, as this guide discusses, and a full time live in carer for elderly relatives may just be the answer for you and your family. The following points cover some of the aspects of how a live-in carer can help with care duties whilst combatting loneliness simultaneously.

Mobility Assistance

A live-in carer can support your loved one with their mobility. For instance, they can help your loved one to access social events through the provision of transport, such as driving or aiding with taking of public transport. This can help combat loneliness by providing support and encouragement with seeing friends and family more frequently. A live-in carer can also help with mobility around the house which can help those individuals who may otherwise be more sedentary during the day. This can improve mood and motivation, supporting social relationships and engagement in everyday activities. Support with mobility can also be another one of the key safety measures for the elderly since falls and injuries are less likely to occur if someone is there to be on hand to help when needed.

 

Regular Company

A live-in carer lives within the household of the person being cared for and therefore provides regular company through simply living in the home. A live-in carer will build a bond with your loved one through working with them and helping them during the hours of care. This can be incredibly important when thinking about combatting loneliness because your loved one will be able to have someone there to talk to, share experiences with and they are less likely to feel the detrimental effects of loneliness.

 

Assistance with household tasks

A live-in carer can help your loved one with their household tasks. This can include anything from cooking, cleaning, laundry, managing things like changing light bulbs, feeding pets, grocery shopping to paying bills on time. During Christmas time, there may be more things to organise such as putting up the Christmas tree and decorations, as well as organising the food for a Christmas dinner. Having someone to support your loved one with these activities can help them feel less isolated and more excited about the festive period. Without a carer, they may be less hopeful about Christmas, since they may feel unable to participate due to the challenges that come with getting everything ready.  A live-in carer can also be there to help with safety in the home. For instance, your loved one may be at risk of a fall or injury if they are trying to put up the Christmas tree and decorations by themselves. An elderly live-in carer can be on hand to help when needed to minimise such risks.

 

Home safety for the elderly can include ensuring that the heating bills are paid for during the winter period and that radiators are sufficiently working. A live-in carer can support your loved ones by ensuring that they are kept warm and safe during these months of the year. It can be incredibly difficult for some older people to manage things like telephoning utility companies and sorting out problems that might be occurring with pipes and radiators. It can give you peace of mind if a carer is supporting your loved one with these tasks.

 

Assistance with running errands

During the Christmas period, there may be errands that your loved one wants to do, such as buying gifts, groceries, decorations, and writing and posting Christmas cards. If the ground is icy and wet then this can increase the risk of falls and possible injury. Driving during these darker, winter months can also be more dangerous. A live-in carer can support your loved one with their errands during the Christmas period so that they are still able to engage in the festive activities, but whilst ensuring that they are safe and supported. For some elderly people, they may struggle with memory, and therefore running errands can be challenging as they may find that they forget to do certain things and then have to repeat the errand. These mistakes can be minimised by having a carer support them whilst carrying out these tasks. It can also be comforting to have someone by their side, helping them to feel less alone as they carry out such errands.

 

How does live-in care work at Christmas?

At Christmas, live-in care works very much the same as the rest of the year. There may be a chance that your loved one’s usual carer wants to take time off to spend this period with their own family, in which case it might be required to organise cover for this carer. A respite carer can come into the home and take over the usual care duties so as to minimise the likelihood of your loved one managing alone at Christmas.

 

During the Christmas period, elderly care duties will very much remain the same, particularly for care duties such as personal care, everyday living, and medication management. Duties may differ based on weather changes since a carer may need to make sure that your loved one is warm enough and that, during these shorter, gloomier days, the security of the home is well managed to minimise the chance of burglary. There may also be a greater need for your loved one to have companionship during Christmas time as this period can bring up feelings of loneliness and may be a time when people miss those around them more. By having someone live in the home of your loved one can ensure that they do not feel alone during this time.

 

How can we help?

The Live in Care Company can help you make arrangements for a live-in carer via an easy and straightforward process and can arrange companionship for over the Christmas period.  We can help you seek support for an elderly relative and we are very happy to be able to discuss all of the care options with you.

 

Our friendly team of elderly live-in care experts will be happy to speak to you and will take the time to help you understand your options fully before matching you with a wonderful live-in carer. You can give us a ring on 0118 449 2373, make an enquiry on our website, or email us at [email protected].

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