Tackling loneliness during the pandemic: 5 ways a home carer can support you and your loved one

PUBLISHED: 13:25 02 November 2020 | UPDATED: 13:25 02 November 2020

'Having a chat and a laugh with a friend can be the best medicine.' Picture: Bluebird Care

'Having a chat and a laugh with a friend can be the best medicine.' Picture: Bluebird Care

Archant

Loneliness has a profound effect on the elderly. According to Age UK, over one million older people say they always or often feel lonely, and the pandemic has most likely worsened this statistic.

'A carer may be the only person someone sees all day.' Picture: Bluebird Care'A carer may be the only person someone sees all day.' Picture: Bluebird Care

“Mental wellbeing is extremely important and especially so for many older people,” says Robert Treschi, Director of Bluebird Care Stevenage & North Herts. “Imagine what it must be like for those who are still isolated from family and friends, unable to enjoy many of their usual activities.”

Robert believes care administered at home can play an important part in ensuring that elderly people stay happy and healthy. Here’s five ways in-home care assistants can provide support:

1) Become a friend for life

'All of our clients have their own hobbies and interests.' Picture: Bluebird Care'All of our clients have their own hobbies and interests.' Picture: Bluebird Care

As Robert explains, ‘having a chat and a laugh with a friend can be the best medicine’.

The most important task for any home carer is to provide their client with companionship, especially at the moment.

“Bluebird Care keeps the number of carers to a minimum and will only send carers that have been introduced beforehand; this ensures strong relationships are formed,” says Robert.

“It can also be incredibly uncomfortable and potentially scary for some vulnerable people to let a stranger into their home, making that familiarity all the more critical.”

Carers from Bluebird Care Stevenage & North Herts can become a trusted companion for your loved one, allowing them to build their confidence, encouraging them to open up about their lives and share special memories.

2) Help them stay connected

Technology has become a lifeline for some to keep in touch with family and friends.

“Our home carers are there to help clients in any way they need it, and this includes assisting them to communicate with family members, friends or stay involved in community groups or clubs where possible. Unfortunately, some clubs and groups are temporarily suspended at the moment,” Robert explains.

If family can’t visit their loved one due to Covid-19, carers are able to bridge the gap, supporting the client to stay connected online and providing the family with updates on how they’re getting on.

3) Offer a helping hand

Although Robert stresses that companionship is a crucial component of a home visit, it’s equally essential that home carers provide task-based support.

Robert says, “Carers can cook meals, help with weekly shopping and domestic tasks within the home, transport clients, arrange and accompany them to and from appointments, and plan outings and visits where it’s safe to do so.”

Living in a clean and tidy environment and eating healthily is integral to your mental health. Bluebird Care carers can help someone continue living a happy, stimulating life from the comfort of their own home.

4) Provide a listening ear

“It takes a special carer to actively listen to their clients as well as contribute to the conversation,” says Robert.

“A carer may be the only person someone sees all day, so the client could have a lot on their mind, or may just want some company and a chat. It’s the responsibility of the carer to make them feel comfortable by not only listening intently, but responding when needed.”

5) Join in with favourite hobbies

“All of our clients have their own hobbies and interests; some like to knit and do puzzles, while others may like talking about the good old days or their passion for music or gardening,” Robert explains.

During a visit, a home carer can spend plenty of time with your loved one, actively joining in with their favourite pastimes.

Bluebird Care Stevenage & North Herts provides domiciliary care (home care), respite care, offering a short break from caring for your loved one, and live-in care, which is ideal for someone needing continuous care and companionship, without the need to move out of your home or change your lifestyle.

Visit www.bluebirdcare.co.uk/stevenage-north-herts for more information. Contact them on 01462 676555 or stevenage@bluebirdcare.co.uk.


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