The UK’s increasing elderly population are an age group that are particularly vulnerable. Being alone for days on end can increase the risk of depression and loneliness. In Britain, depression affects around 22% of men and 28% of women aged 65 years and over, yet it is estimated that 85% of older people with depression receive no help at all from the NHS (1). Isolation can also increase the risk of an elderly person having a trip or fall, which can have catastrophic repercussions to their health.
An ideal solution
Ideally, elderly people would benefit the most from being able to remain in their home and receive first class care. Live in care provides elderly people with the means to retain their independence and dignity whilst having someone around to help with all kinds of tasks. The benefits of live-in care go far beyond just helping someone to wash and dress.
Being cared for at home means retaining control of your own life. In turn, this can lead to both good mental and physical health. Live-in care is preferable to a residential care home in that the one-on-one dynamic between the carer and the client promotes self-confidence and boots self-esteem. Being able to make your own decisions and control your own finances keeps the brain engaged and sharp, which is very important in later life.
Live-in care also means that the emotional distress of moving into a residential care home need not come to pass. Being able to remain at home in a familiar space gives elderly people a feeling of comfort and security. Particularly for elderly people who suffer from mental health conditions such as Alzheimer’s or dementia, keeping to an established routine in a comfortable setting can ease symptoms of such diseases.
Someone to talk to
Another benefit from having a love in carer would be the constant companionship and friendship offered by the carer. This is one of many reasons why live in care jobs are also popular with the carers. So many of the UK’s over 65 population live alone, and an increasing number do not have any relatives that visit them. This enforced seclusion can cause elderly people to fail to take care of themselves and become ill. Having a constant presence in their home will give elderly people the peace of mind that they can rely on. They will have someone to share meals with, rather than cooking for just themselves. They will have someone to stop people taking advantage of them, from doorstep traders and potential criminals trying to gain entry into the house. They will also have someone to take care of potentially dangerous tasks for elderly people, like standing on ladders or trying to lift heavy objects. All of these little things that are taken for granted become huge obstacles for elderly people living alone, and a live-in carer can assist with all these things and more.
It certainly seems that the elderly population in the UK would find value and comfort in the capable care of a live-in carer, far beyond their basic needs.