January Loneliness: Is There Another Solution?
Article by Olivia Wood –
Moving to a care home has long been considered one of the best solutions to combating loneliness in the elderly. Providing a range of both physical and emotional support, they help keep older people safe, provide vital social interaction, reduce mental health issues, and can substantially improve quality of life.
However, the COVID crisis and the more recent appearance of the omicron variant has placed incredible pressure on the care industry. With staff shortages as a result of self-isolation or illness and the new COVID restrictions that apply to care homes, the elderly are being denied the support that they deserve.
This couldn’t have come at a worse time. Mental health issues are among the biggest challenges we face during January when the festivities are over and the days are still cold and dark. The over 50s are even more at risk of loneliness than younger people. With mobility problems, additional health needs and a perceived lack of connection with the outside world, loneliness can strike hard.
Knowing how to prevent loneliness in older age can be hard, but there is another way. Let us explain how.
Consider live-in care options
If you or your loved one needs companionship and extra support at home, get in touch with a local live-in care provider. They can provide help with a range of household tasks, administer medication, help with personal care needs and even accompany you or your loved one to social events.
Stay in touch with friends and family
Those bonds of friendship or family ties are essential if you’re feeling isolated at home or disconnected from the outside world. So why not pick up the phone and invite someone over for a cup of tea and a chat? If this isn’t possible, stay connected by using email, social media or even Skype, asking someone for help if you’re not yet tech-savvy.
Get involved in new social activities
Is there a hobby you’ve always wanted to try? Or an activity you fancy experiencing? Now is your chance. By doing this, you’re more likely to meet other like-minded people and grow your skills and confidence. Pop into your local library or community centre or get in touch with us directly to discover what we have on offer.
Find a befriending service
If you don’t have local friends or you just miss having a chat at home, why not try a befriending service? A trusted volunteer will visit you in your home regularly for a chinwag and if they’re lucky, a slice of cake and provide you with the support you need when you need it.
Become a volunteer
Volunteering is another great way to meet new people and enjoy social interactions with a range of people. You’ll also gain a huge sense of achievement as you see the results of your input having an impact on the lives of others. Whichever cause you’re passionate about, you’ll find a local group that you can help with including supporting the homeless, caring for abandoned animals and helping local charities.
Visit a day centre
Day centres are hubs of activity that offer a range of opportunities to meet new people. Just like any other social club, you can take part and enjoy arts and crafts, singing, music, gentle exercise, day trips and social events. Who knows? Maybe it will open your eyes to new hobbies you’ve never even considered before.
Whatever your abilities, staying active can help you to feel content and connected. Find something you love and you can also boost your mood and self-confidence and feel like part of your local community. Why not try our fun cycling, walking or active ageing groups or ask in your local community to find out what is available to you?
There’s no need for you or your loved one to feel lonely this January. With such a huge range of activities and support opportunities available to you in the Liverpool and Sefton area, it’s easy to connect with like-minded people without turning to a care home. Deep dive into some of the options listed above and help tackle and overcome your January loneliness.