The importance of companionship

companionship, senior smiling at companion

This month we are focusing on the importance of companionship and how companionship can help combat elderly loneliness within our community.

Loneliness and social isolation are a growing issue within the older generation, having someone to turn to is very important for both physical and mental health. The sad truth is, the seniors in our community are most prone to feeling lonely. Having a companion can mean the difference between not seeing a single person all week to having someone to share a cuppa with on a Tuesday afternoon.

Many of us have experienced loneliness throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, being stuck inside unable to see family and friends has been both physically and emotionally draining for most of our community and we can’t wait to get back out into the world. However, for many of our seniors being at home alone for weeks at a time is not just the result of the pandemic, but an ongoing issue. Factors such as the lack of public transport, loss of mobility, poor health and sensory issues can prevent someone from leaving their home, and if they are living alone without a family member nearby, it can lead to feeling isolated and lonely.

Charities such as Age UK have estimated that more than 2 million people aged over 75 live alone in the UK, with over a million saying they go more than a month without speaking to friends, family, or even neighbours. Social isolation can lead to problems with both mental and physical health and having someone to chat to can help keep the mind and body active, provide an opportunity to share experiences and ideas, and help prevent depression and anxiety.

Companionship is a basic human need and having a companion in life, whether they are a relative, friend or carer, can help keep the mind active and prevent social isolation. It’s important to remember that being a carer is not just about personal care, and can involve many different aspects, based on each individual’s needs. For some, simply having a companion can make a world of difference when it comes to tackling loneliness, from having someone to share their interests and hobbies with, to a friendly face to turn to when they need it. For family members, just knowing that someone will drop in on their loved one for a cup of tea and a chat can be very reassuring, allowing them to put their mind at rest. But most importantly, companions are the key to combating elderly loneliness, helping our seniors get back out into the community to do the things they enjoy and making it easier to stay in touch with family and friends. Having someone trustworthy also allows people to have honest conversations about how they’re feeling. Whether it’s emotion, mental health or illness, having someone there to talk to can stop people from feeling alone.

At Heritage Healthcare Epsom, we provide a range of home care services to help people to continue living at home independently, to help them stay at home for longer. Our companionship service provides clients with one of our highly trained, trusted carers to support them in going out into the community so they can feel safe and enjoy the activities that bring them joy. Whether it’s meeting up with friends and family, popping to the local shops or just enjoying a chat over a cuppa, our friendly team are there to support our clients and their needs.

To find out more about our companionship service, please click here.

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