Loneliness has long been an issue for the elderly, but this has been exacerbated by Covid. It may come as a surprise to learn just how many people in the UK, aged 55 or over, reportedly experience loneliness. Reports suggest that the number is around 1.4 million with around 500,00 people going almost a week without seeing, or even speaking, to anyone.

It is more than possible to be surrounded by people, but still feel lonely. A care home, such as those that are part of the ACI Care Group, have access to professionals who can identify whether someone is experiencing loneliness or isolation and are able to help.

What causes loneliness in the elderly?

Elderly family members can become isolated and experience loneliness as families grow and move further afield. It is far more common nowadays for families to be spread across the country, rather than staying where they grew up.

As well as family members moving away, other factors that can lead to loneliness include:
• Retirement and drifting away from former colleagues
• The death of a spouse
• The loss of close friends
• Mobility issues that prevent someone from getting out

Why does loneliness matter?

No one wants to think of their family member being lonely, but the reality is that loneliness causes far more consequences than many are aware of. Some of the health issues linked to loneliness include:
• Obesity
• Dementia
• Heart disease
• High blood pressure

Alongside these physical changes, there are other negative impacts of loneliness, such as:
• Anxiety
• Depression
• Sleep issues
• Stress
• Low self-esteem

How can a care home help?

The ACI Care Group has numerous solutions when it comes to dealing with loneliness and isolation. Some of the ways that care homes, like ours, can help include:

The chance to socialise:
As a resident in a care home, there are always opportunities to get involved with activities. This can be with fellow residents and with members of staff. This means that there is no longer any risk of isolation and, as new friendships are often made.
Feeling part of a community
A care home is a place where there is a real sense of community, and of belonging. While residents are always free to take some time out for themselves, trained staff will always encourage them to get involved.

Encouragement to get involved with activities

Carers understand how daunting it can be for residents to want to take part in activities, and so staff are on hand to offer encouragement to take the first steps. Activities allow residents to learn new skills or even rediscover hobbies of old. Taking part in these types of activities have great benefits when it comes to the mental and physical wellbeing of residents.

Events and entertainment

Our homes offer a wide range of events and entertainment, from live performers to summer fairs with the local community. These all give residents something to focus on and look forward to. They provide a great opportunity for residents to get together and enjoy something as a group.

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