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The risks of loneliness and how to help prevent it

Mar 15, 2018

Did you know?

  • 17% of older people are in contact with family, friends and neighbours less than once a week and 11% are in contact less than once a month
  • Over half of all people aged 75 and over live alone
  • Two fifths all older people (about 3.9 million) say the television is their main form of company
  • 59% of adults aged over 52 who report poor health say they feel lonely some of the time or often, compared to 21% who say they are in excellent health

The impact of loneliness on our health

Feeling lonely has been shown to increase blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular diseases, elevate stress levels which weakens the immune system, impair sleep quality and heighten feelings of depression. Furthermore, research shows that people with a high degree of loneliness are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s as people with a low degree of loneliness.

How to help keep the blues at bay

– Companionship: This could be a family member, neighbour or a member of one of our wonderful team visiting the person regularly in their home and spending an hour or two having a cup of tea and a chat. Key benefits of a companionship service include:

  • knowing you have someone who carescompanionship - the care collection
  • not feeling forgotten
  • having someone who is trustworthy and reliable
  • being able to engage in ordinary conversation
  • having greater peace of mind
  • improvement in general wellbeing and quality of life

– Attend a day centre, lunch club, social club or health and exercise group:  These will vary according to location, but it is likely there will be access to a singing or walking group, book clubs, bridge, bingo and quiz nights, not to mention local branches of regional and national organisations that hold social events, such as the Women’s Institute, Rotary and Probus. This is a great way to meet new people with similar interests in the local area. If transport is a problem, The Care Collection’s staff can drive clients wherever they wish to go throughout Kirklees and Calderdale. The Care Collection is shortly launching its “Camaraderie Club” where we will host regular social events for our clients to attend, ranging from trips to local attractions, bridge and books clubs, flower arranging and afternoon tea in friendly and stimulating surroundings.

– Get connected:  A good way to stay in touch with friends and family, especially with grandchildren, is by using a personal computer or tablet to view and share photos (using Facebook for example) and have video chats using services such as Skype or FaceTime. The Care Collection’s “Culture Club” aims to teach our clients how to “get online” to connect and keep in touch with family and friends.

older friends - the care collection

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