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.
Maintaining personal hygiene and daily routines can become increasingly challenging for loved ones as they get older. Standards might slip and approaching the subject of personal care can be uncomfortable for family members and care givers; it is sometimes difficult to convince an elderly relative or patient to accept outside help as they feel it will compromise their dignity, self-esteem, and privacy.