Home Instead Senior Care Sunflower Cafe

The Home Instead Sunflower cafe is a free and friendly wellbeing cafe for over 65’s, where people can talk, listen to themed talks, enjoy refreshments and music, partake in Bingo, Karaoke, cards, knitting, as well as engaging in gentle exercises to improve overall health. Those living with mild dementia and their carers are welcome to join us.

Tony O'Flaherty, Director of Home Instead Wandsworth says, “with the closure of a number of facilities, there are fewer places for older people to relax and socialise. We found that seniors love coming together with friends because it provides an opportunity for them and their carers to have some respite. We welcome everyone to the cafe as we bring along staff who have been trained in dementia care and they are always on hand to accommodate.

In 2017, the Office of National Statistics reported that people who felt as if they had no belonging in their neighbourhood were at greater risk of loneliness. Furthermore, the UK’s largest charity for older people, Age UK, found that pensioners are at high risk of loneliness. Currently, 39% of over 65s live alone and it’s estimated around 3000 local senior citizens experience loneliness in some form. Widowed homeowners who have long-term health conditions are particularly vulnerable.
The number of older people experiencing loneliness in the UK is set to reach two million by 2025/6, a predicted 49% increase in the next 10 years. It attributes the causes of loneliness to many factors stating that:

“We often feel lonely when we feel we don't have strong social relationships or are unhappy with the ones we have.
There have been several studies that have identified a range of factors associated with being lonely in older age. These factors include:
social networks (living alone, being widowed or divorced, a lack of contact with friends and family and limited opportunities to participate in social occasions)
health (poor health, limited mobility, social care needs or cognitive and sensory impairment)
individual characteristics (age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, low income, retirement)
neighbourhood characteristics (structures of buildings and streets, provision of local amenities, territorial boundaries, area reputation, neighbourliness, material deprivation of area of residence).
Loneliness is associated with depression, sleep problems, impaired cognitive health, heightened vascular resistance, hypertension, psychological stress and mental health problems.”

Being a carer for someone living with dementia can be more demanding than other caring relationships, and can result in reductions in quality of life, compromised physical and emotional health, negative financial consequences and Social isolation. This may be especially true where carers may not want to leave the person they care for and are reluctant to go out because of changes in their loved ones behaviour. With the increasing reductions in support services, carers are expected to rely on their own social networks for support.

Here is some of the feedback we have received from attendees:
“Mum is really enjoying the café and was pleased with herself that she was able to do the craft exercise.” 
“Both Rose and John have enjoyed the sessions, especially the exercise part. “
"Kemi is clearly loved by all the attendees and is a huge asset to the success of the club."

The Home Instead Sunflower café is run by our café coordinator, Kemi Browne and held weekly on  Wednesdays, 2pm-4pm at the Gracefields Gardens Health  and Social Centre, 2-8 Gracefield Gardens, Streatham, London SW16 2ST. If you are interested in attending please email Kemi, kemi.browne@homeinstead.co.uk
or call 0208 871 0006

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