Would a live-in carer help the elderly improve mental health?
How can live-in carer help the elderly with poor mental health? Having a strong support system of family and friends helps many to live a happy life. Whether it be a 5-minute phone call or spending the whole day with other people, socialising is a stimulant and helps to keep the brain healthy.
People thrive off social interactions and feel a real buzz after being around others. Getting out of the house for a change in scenery, breathing in fresh air and being in the sunshine absorbing vitamin D releases the hormone dopamine in your body – the happy hormone.
How does a live-in carer help with socialisation?
As we age, the need for socialisation is as present as ever as it encourages the elderly to go outside and meet others, improving both their physical and mental health. Sadly, it becomes much harder to keep in touch with and see loved ones as they’re busy with their family and job, moved elsewhere to enjoy their golden years or people have regrettably passed away.
What about poor mental health?
For many, having a daily routine is an integral part of having a productive day, but there are some routines which can negatively impact how you feel. For example, falling victim to a routine of not leaving the house is very easy, and Age UK found that there’s over 2 million people over the age of 75 living alone, and around 1 million don’t interact with another person for weeks at a time.
This is a leading factor in a decline in mental health as social interaction decreases, the individual withdraws from society and become isolated. Although, it is very important to note that there are many factors that can contribute to a decline in mental health, and it is rarely ever the result of one thing.
Luckily, there are many ways to combat low mental health within the elderly, and most of them are readily accessible and don’t cost a fortune.
As we age, we have less energy, and many don’t chase after the same fun activities from our younger years. Activities like days at a theme park or drinking in the sunshine. Later in life we would rather have someone to talk and company so we can enjoy the best years of life.
Most communities will offer a weekly tea and chat, where those who live alone can go to meet with others in their local area This can help form a strong knit community and mutually beneficial friendships.
Charities such as Silver Line provide a completely free and confidential helpline to the elderly offering them friendship and help, available 24/7, 365 days a year.
Everybody needs somebody, especially as we get older and struggle with being alone or keeping on top of daily errands. At Country Cousins, we offer a wide variety of live-in care options to suit the individual’s needs.
What types of care are there?
Companion care focuses more on the social aspect of life rather than providing care. Our companion care means a carer is guaranteed to visit the individual every week at a certain time. This gives the individual something to look forward to, whether it be a chat, visiting somewhere new or be of company to the individual.
All our carers strive to provide compassionate and conscientious care, being the vital source of interaction which they may not have been able to otherwise access. As the weeks pass by, the carer and individual will get to know each other on a personal level, forming a strong friendship, a bond founded upon trust and respect.
Similarly, after having been stuck in a routine, the elderly may feel anxious about going outside again out of fear of what’s changed and the unknown. By having someone to go outside with, such as a carer, helps to ease them back in, slowly building up their confidence whilst having trusted support around you, and once they feel comfortable enough, going on longer walks or days out.
What about my independence?
No carer is ever there to take away from the independence of the individual and all our carers will only provide assistance when it’s needed. We believe that remaining independent for as long as possible is very important as it encourages a positive outlook on life and feelings of being self-sufficient, both of which help to maintain a happy mental state.
Should the individual need help, they don’t need to worry as a live-in carer will be there to help straight away, or even prevent something from occurring in the first place. This will help to reduce any anxieties about not having access to timely help.
Other anxieties faced as we get older include finding it more challenging to go to the shop to buy food and home essentials, financial worries, having lower motivation levels, end-of-life, and Dementia. A live-in carer will be the reassurance for the individual in times of worry and helping to relieve them of any unnecessary stress.
Simply put, people cannot be alone all day, every day. We all need someone there to talk to and sit with. That’s why we are doing everything that we can to make sure that everybody has a friend. Regardless of outdated beliefs, mental health is incredibly important and there is absolutely no shame in talking to someone about it.
Whether people make it known or not, a huge percentage of the population both in the UK and globally will experience some form of mental health condition in the lifetime e.g., bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, so it’s important to note that nobody is alone in this, despite how you may feel at that time. Looking after your mental health will help you to live your life in the happiest way possible.
Should you feel your mental health spiralling and declining at a rapid rate, please ring your doctor to make an urgent appointment or visit the NHS website for a list of contact numbers.
If you want to find out more about our live-in care services and making sure that your loved ones have the best support, please click here.