As lockdown eases, many of us will be looking forward to getting out and about a bit more and seeing friends and family for the first time in weeks. While you are out enjoying socially distant visits to the shops or the pub, I encourage you to take a moment to think about your elderly relatives and neighbours for whom the end of lockdown means very little to their daily routine.
Unfortunately, the social isolation all of us have been experiencing is just part of their daily life.
The effects of loneliness on overall health have been the subject of significant research recently. The Campaign to End Loneliness states that loneliness has a negative impact on your health equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes per day, is worse for your health than obesity, and is likely to increase your risk of death by 29%. This is difficult to imagine but demonstrates a clear link between social interaction and improved health.
Encouraging this social interaction is one of the reasons why Home Instead focus on providing care that is relationship-based. Put simply, this means that the same CAREGivers see the same clients for a minimum visit of one hour. This ensures we are not just seeing to the physical care and home help tasks that need to be done, but also taking the time to ensure that we are spending time focussed on the client’s wellbeing.
So, while lockdown hopefully will soon be a distant memory for many of us, as we return to work and the social activities that we enjoy, let’s not forget those in our community who still need our support.