Loneliness Awareness Week – Loneliness and the elderly

Hosted by Marmalade Trust, the week-long campaign raises awareness of loneliness and strives to get people talking about it.

According to Age UK, recent research has found that there is around “1.4m chronically lonely older people in England and many more across the rest of the UK”.  That feeling of loneliness can be almost as dangerous to our health as smoking around 15 cigarettes per day. It’s crucial that we take the time to understand how those feelings of loneliness can impact our nearest and dearest.

It is within our basic human instincts to want and need contact with other people. For the elderly, loneliness is also a leading cause of mental health with isolation and mental well-being frequently linked

Main causes of loneliness

At Crouched Friars, we know for older people the distance between friends and family can be a leading cause for loneliness. While social distancing has made connecting harder this past year, other factors can come into play. For example, family members may have other commitments such as work, and with retirement adding more hours to the day, an emotional distance can also develop.

Health conditions can also make it hard to meet up, and communication can become a struggle. As we grow older, elderly people tend to become more vulnerable making mobility more challenging than before.

Identifying loneliness in the elderly

As specialists in residential and dementia care, we understand how important it is to identify and prevent loneliness.

Feelings of loneliness can stem from a range of causes, so it’s crucial that we can identify them and offer as much help as we can. While the signs can be hard to identify, there are some key indicators to be aware of.

When talking to a loved whether that be in person or over the phone, pay attention to what they’re saying. People who feel lonely tend to talk a lot more, while others drop subtle hints that they would like to talk to others.

When feeling lonely, there are a few behavioural changes that can become apparent. Some isolated individuals are known to begin to act more extroverted. Others find themselves acting out of character during social interactions.

How to help elderly individuals who are feeling lonely

Now COVID-19 restrictions are beginning to ease, we recommend checking out the local area and see if anything is happening. Many community centres host meeting groups and activity sessions that could also be a good option as they deliver the opportunity to meet like-minded people.

Here at Crouched Friars, we regularly host a range of activities to improve wellbeing and reduce loneliness. Some of our resident’s favourite activities have recently been playing board games, getting outside in our gardens and even playing with our staff members visiting pets.

As a home that puts high-quality care at the heart of everything, we encourage all our residents to participate in different exercises and experiences that can support them.

Using technology within our homes, we were able to ease the loneliness by connecting residents virtually with their loved ones.

If your loved ones are still struggling, providing a list of helplines is a good way to help.

  • Age UK (0800 055 6112) and Independent Age (0800 319 6789) both offer befriending phone calls regularly.
  • The Silver Line (0800 470 8090) also provide befriending. This is alongside a supportive environment for people to talk about their feelings.

Situated in the heart of Colchester, Crouched Friars Residential Home supports a small community of 55 residents. We provide both physical and mental stimulation for those with residential and dementia needs including our own dementia care wing. We are still welcoming new residents and have clear policies in place to be able to do this safely.

 

As restrictions are gradually easing, we can now welcome multiple loved ones back into our home. Visits from friends and family truly lift our resident’s mood, especially in these difficult times.

For information and guidance on how to book a visit, please read our blog here or call our friendly team on 01206 572647.

< Back to news

Latest News

The benefits of spending time outdoors for residents with dementia

Posted on July 12th, 2024

Summer is finally here and it’s the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors and spend time in nature. The longer days and lovely weather encourage us to go out more, and we’re doing the same for our residents.   At Crouched Friars, we’re a team of dementia specialists and understand the impact a nurturing environment […]

Read more >

Steps to take after a dementia diagnosis

Posted on June 21st, 2024

When you or a loved one is diagnosed with dementia, the first few days can be quite overwhelming. A dementia diagnosis can often lead to feelings of fear, confusion, anger, sadness or loneliness. Post diagnosis is a crucial time when the person needs extra care and support to navigate their diagnosis. In May, we observed […]

Read more >

How to manage stress when providing dementia care

Posted on May 10th, 2024

Being a care worker is one of the most rewarding jobs. As a care worker, you provide care, support and companionship to people living with dementia. You help them maintain their physical and mental well-being and live a happy and healthy life. However, the emotional toll of caring for residents with complex needs, coupled with […]

Read more >

Supporting residents with dementia during sundowning at Crouched Friars

Posted on April 16th, 2024

Now that the clocks have moved forward and we have longer days, it seems like a blessing for most of us. However, this change can prove to be a big challenge for people living with dementia. At Crouched Friars, it is our priority to provide personalised and compassionate care for our residents living with dementia. […]

Read more >

Crouched Friars resident enchanted by musical at local school

Posted on March 18th, 2024

A 92-year-old resident who lived at Crouched Friars care home in Colchester fulfilled a bucket list item of watching a musical, thanks to The Wishing Washing Line initiative by FaNs network in Essex. Edwina Parker, attended Philip Morant School and College’s production of Matilda and had a “magical” evening. She was welcomed with flowers and […]

Read more >

Valentine’s Day celebrations at Crouched Friars

Posted on March 11th, 2024

Love was definitely in the air at Crouched Friars this Valentine’s Day – our day was filled with thoughtful touches and activities that brought smiles to everyone’s faces. Stepping into the common room was like stepping into a love nest. Heart-shaped balloons of every colour bobbed cheerfully from the ceiling, while rose petals and paper […]

Read more >