Care Homes – Surrounded By People But Still Lonely

Information about the potential for loneliness in care homes as well as resources and tips on avoiding it.

Unfortunately, loneliness amongst the elderly is a real issue in our society. The statistics paint a very sad picture:

  • 49% of those over 65 cite the TV as their main company
  • Over 1 million older people say they feel lonely most of the time, or regularly
  • 41% of the elderly feel out of touch with modern life

The loneliness issue amongst the elderly is often found to be worse in care homes. 97% of people don’t want to go into a residential home if they become unwell or unable to care for themselves and many don’t realise that there are alternatives such as home care services or live-in care. This may relate to the somewhat unsettling statistics that come into the spotlight via the media, such as:

  • 1 in 10 Brits only see their elderly relatives on special occasions or at Christmas
  • A third of those in residential care and over half in nursing homes say they never leave their homes
  • 6 percent of those in nursing homes say they don’t do anything valuable with their time

(Statistics source)

Care homes can be very lonely places. When an older person moves from their beloved home to a care homes, it can be a great challenge. They have to let a large portion of dependence go overnight and sometimes the process of going from home to a care home happens extremely quickly, making it even harder to adapt.

A Loss Of Identity

A person in a care home can slowly feel they are losing their identity. A loss in certain faculties like memory can lead to a feeling of isolation. Having no control over food, drink, bedtimes etc can lead to a loss of feeling in control, and so, a loss of who you once were.

The Things We Lose, Isolate Us

Losing friends, health, the home you loved and the ability to do things for yourself can be a trigger for boredom and isolation. The more loss is felt, often the more likely loneliness is to occur.

Settling In Well

Although an older person may accept their new life in some ways, they likely have a lot of feelings beneath the surface. When care home staff have time they can provide a great level of support for residents, but the care system is experiencing shortages, staff struggle to provide the proper time for basic tasks, let alone additional emotional support for residents.

The Solution To Loneliness In Care Homes

In some situations a person may require a care home and no other option is suitable for them. However, there is a solution that can work for a lot of elderly people requiring care who do not want to leave their homes: live-in care.

Live-in care is known to be a really great choice for a person requiring for many reasons, including but not limited to:

  • Help with nutritional needs
  • Providing company
  • Keeping a person as independent as possible
  • Encouraging social activities and interaction
  • Helping with mobility
  • Providing personal care and support
  • Enabling a person to stay in their own home
  • Ensuring the person is safe in their home
  • Helping with medication routines
  • Helping the person get to appointments and to run errands

Live-in care is an excellent solution for many elderly people who need care, but who do not want to leave their homes. It helps combat loneliness and avoids the need for a stressful and sometimes traumatic move into a care home.

If you or your relative are thinking about care, please have a look at Live-in Care Hub for more information, you’ll be surprised at how accessible it could be for your needs.

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