Posted on Friday 27th July 2018 by All About Home Care
The benefits of friendship
The opposite of friendship is, of course, loneliness, which is particularly a problem for many older people. According to the British Red Cross (https://www.redcross.org.uk/get-help/get-help-with-loneliness), it is a hidden epidemic in the UK that is negatively impacting on people’s wider health and wellbeing. A report in 2015 by Nesta and the Cabinet Office concluded that loneliness is as damaging as smoking and obesity; research (https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/loneliness/) by Age UK found that loneliness can be as harmful to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
By contrast, many studies have shown the positive benefits of friendship on social, emotional and physical well-being, with people who have one or more good friends generally being in better health than those who don’t. The benefits of friendship for the elderly listed by Age UK include:
Friendship – at the heart of everything we do
We are often first contacted by older people or their relatives in the Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Sevenoaks areas because they are finding life increasingly difficult on a physical level; maybe they need help washing, preparing food or can no longer keep on top of the housework. Our care plans list the physical things our carers need to do to enable our home care clients to continue to live a fulfilling life in their own home.
But the care our carers deliver goes far beyond this checklist. Key to providing outstanding domiciliary care is building up meaningful relationships with our clients. It’s one of the reasons we insist on minimum visits of one-hour; we don’t just want our carers rushing through a tick list – we want them to have time to chat and get to know their clients. It enables them to be much more than a carer – it enables them to be their friend, and to help deliver all those wonderful benefits that friendship brings.
This is especially important for our clients who don’t routinely have many other visitors, but it also means our carers can pick up on the little signs that something may not quite be right, to make sure that we adapt our home care services to meet our clients’ changing needs.
We all have a role to play to make sure that our elderly relatives and neighbours aren’t lonely. So, what can you do? Suggestions from the NHS include:
International Friendship Day was set up to promote world peace. Delivering that may not be in our gift – but tackling loneliness on our doorstep is.
To discuss your care needs of those of someone you love
in the Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Sevenoaks areas
call 01732 447 055 or 01892 575 499