Loneliness in old age
According to Age UK, 3.6 million older people in the UK live alone, of whom over almost half are over the age of 75. As we grow older we are more likely to lose loved ones, experience health problems and lack of mobility, making it harder to get out and about. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation – even depression. Age UK goes on to state that loneliness itself can be as harmful to our health as smoking fifteen cigarettes a day.
But it’s not just ill health that can put elderly people at risk of loneliness and depression – there are other factors at play too, which you may recognise yourself, including:
Bereavement or lack of companionship: chronic loneliness can set in after the loss of a partner. You may experience feelings of loneliness – even guilt – if your partner has moved into a care home leaving you alone at home.
Retirement: you may have looked forward to retirement, but the reality is that you miss day-to-day contact with work colleagues – it’s very different being on your own seven days a week, rather than just at weekends.
Socialisation has ceased: you may have reached a stage in life where friends have passed away, no longer live in the same area or have health issues or restricted mobility that stops them from leaving the house.
Location: modern life means that families are often more ‘geographically scattered’. In particular, elderly people living in rural areas sometimes feel cut off from friends, families, shops, and other services. Public transport might be limited or you may be no longer able to drive for health reasons.
Financial difficulties: in addition to causing stress, financial problems can also limit travel and opportunities for socialising.
At Birchwood, we understand that a sunny, soothing disposition is an important attribute in all our carers when visiting clients who might otherwise go from day to day without any social interaction or companionship.
Other articles you may like
- Win a fabulous Afternoon Tea Delights Hamper
- Domestic support is available in your homeKeeping things clean and tidy in your own home can get tougher as you get older. Vacuuming and laundry can be harder toContinue reading “Domestic support is available in your home”
- Meet Care Co-ordinator GeorgiaGeorgia is one of three Care Co-ordinators at Birchwood Care Services and has worked with the organisation for 10 months. She is undertakingContinue reading “Meet Care Co-ordinator Georgia”
- Tips for keeping the elderly safe during extreme heatTips for keeping the elderly safe during extreme heat Here in Britain, we are simply not used to high temperatures we sometimes experienceContinue reading “Tips for keeping the elderly safe during extreme heat”
- Birchwood to host Summer Open Day in JuneWe are delighted to announce that Birchwood Care will be hosting an Open Day on Saturday 26th June from 2-4pm. The Open Day willContinue reading “Birchwood to host Summer Open Day in June”
- Your questions answered about a care assessmentWe understand a lot of different terms are used within the industry when it comes to home assessments and what is involved atContinue reading “Your questions answered about a care assessment”
- Cream Tea Giveaway – who will you invite for tea?We’re giving away a Cream Tea for Two with the May issue of Birchwood Care and on our Facebook page. Our Chef atContinue reading “Cream Tea Giveaway – who will you invite for tea?”
- Meet Mary, Domestic Support Worker at Birchwood.Enabling people to retain their independence and stay in their own home is one of the aims of Birchwood Care Services. The teamContinue reading “Meet Mary, Domestic Support Worker at Birchwood.”
- Meet Bethany – Care Co-ordinator at Birchwood.Every day is different and rewarding, says Care Co-ordinator and Relief Supervisor Bethany, who has worked for Birchwood Care Services for just overContinue reading “Meet Bethany – Care Co-ordinator at Birchwood.”