Being lonely and isolated is a horrible reality for many people living with dementia. Many elderly people become socially isolated and very often without assistance from the outside world, there is not much they can do about it. We understand how difficult this can be and spend significant time helping people tackle this issue.

According to Alzheimer’s UK “turning up the volume” report, over 35% of people said they felt lonely recently.

Thankfully with good support networks, a battle plan, and a desire to avoid loneliness this does not need to become prevalent and can be dealt with before it becomes an issue. Here at The Homecare People, we can also assist with companionship and general daily help.

Causes of loneliness and isolation

Lack of Social Interaction:

These days families have become more dispersed and no longer stay in the local area like they used to, moving all over the country due to work, house prices, etc.

This in turn means face to face contact can be difficult, along with the pace of modern day to day life families are balancing a myriad of different priorities.

Did you know that a lack of social interaction can damage a person’s health as much as smoking 15 cigarettes a day?

Losing friends:

As we grow older our community ages with us! In many cases this means that our friends and neighbours either move away to be supported by their families, move into retirement housing, or sadly pass away.

This in turn means there is an ever-shrinking friendship circle and support network which inevitably leads to a lack of social engagement.

It is a sad fact that over half a million of older people do not see or speak to anyone for more than six days a week.

Losing confidence

Sometimes when somebody feels that they are not the person they used to be they can lose the confidence to try new things or continue doing the things they enjoy.

Normal activities like going to the shop, or to the café or pub or even just going to a friend’s house can feel very daunting.

Sometimes with dementia, it is not just losing confidence that prevents people from engaging in their favourite pass time; sometimes they simply can no longer do it! Either they have not retained the cognitive capacity to do the activity or they are physically unable to do so.

How can we help?

Lack of social interaction

Friends and families can ensure they visit regularly, it is important to make sure that the people the person with dementia loves seeing are available to see them as often as possible. Putting a plan into place with the rest of the family can mean that everyone is involved, and busy schedules can be worked around avoiding any long stints of being alone.

It is an idea to make use of the technology that is now available to us. Facetime, Skype or even a simple phone call can make all the difference.

Our carers are available to help with companionship should you require some assistance with caring for a loved one with Dementia. We can spend time with them when you are not able to, even if it is an hour here or there to get them out to the shops, help with an evening meal or an hour watching TV in the evening.

Losing friends

Sadly, there is not a lot that can be done to avoid this, but there are some ways to mitigate it. As we get older it becomes apparent that we cannot do all the things we used to do. At this point help is required for housework, personal care, and things like meal preparation.

Here at The Homecare People we can assist with all aspects of caring for a person with Dementia. We can offer vital human interaction at the same time and provide some much needed socialisation.

Here are some examples of the help we can provide:

• Help with getting up and going to bed
• Help with bathing
• Help with dressing and undressing
• Help with continence and going to the toilet
• Taking medicines
• Preparing nutritious meals and help with eating well

Additionally, most communities will have several social clubs for older people and people living with dementia; sometimes these are council run and sometimes by other organisations like charities or care homes.

Losing confidence

There may be little we can do to stop people losing confidence, but having some companionship means we may be able to rebuild it or at least slow it down. Just having somebody to go with them for that walk or visit to the shops can make a big difference.

There are also many technology solutions that might just help them retain their confidence for a bit longer and allow them to go out on their own. These solutions can range from carrying a simple mobile phone so they can call for help if they get in trouble to a GPS tracker.

If you or someone you love suffers from Dementia and you feel as if you could do with some additional support, please do get in touch to see how we can help.