Why you need to promote your loved one’s independence
As we approach a possible second wave of COVID, elderly people across the UK are
becoming more at risk of damaging their mental health through isolation and the constant bombardment of worrying news. As Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge from WHO states:
“I am reminding governments and authorities that all communities must be supported to deliver interventions to ensure older people have what they need. All older people should be treated with respect and dignity during these times. Remember, we leave no one behind.”
This highlights both the urgency and importance of caring correctly for older people. So how can you help your loved ones to feel more confident and regain their independence during this pandemic?
In this blog Evelyn James shares tips on how to promote your loved one’s independence.
Use Care Bubbles to your advantage
Until recently, rules stated that we were only meant to mix with those we live with, which meant that older people living alone had to spend months without family visits or social interaction. However, the introduction of the Care Bubble by the UK Government allows exceptions to this rule. So, people can now mix with other households if it offers a form of informal care. Such as, caring for a parent with a health condition, or checking up on elderly friends who needs help with everyday tasks. The Care Bubble solution will remain intact, even if your area enters another lockdown, meaning that your loved ones won’t have to face another long period alone. This has been a relief for many of us.
Provide your loved ones with a large support network
There are times when simply chatting to a friendly voice can make all the difference in relation to their mental wellbeing. A great way to ensure that your loved one is receiving regular interaction and that greatly needed friendly voice. You may like to share the following numbers with them:
- Age UK: 0800 169 65 65
- Silver Line: 0800 470 80 90
Having access to these numbers will help your loved ones to feel less alone and increases their support network. This will help them feel more confident about going about their day, as they know that there is someone on hand to help them if they feel stressed or worried.
Discover more ideas on connecting during social restrictions by reading this blog post.
Consider using home care
With many workplaces returning to some kind normal, it may be difficult to provide an elderly person with the right amount of care. This is especially needed for them to enjoy their day-to-day. However, moving them into a care home is not always the right option. According to the charity Helping Hands, home care is:
‘The type of care that can be delivered alongside the care that you also provide, giving you all peace of mind that your loved one has everything they need to stay living well at home.’
Carers provide flexible support plans that can be tailored to your existing routines. Thus creating the least amount of upheaval for your relative during this already uncertain time. They can also take your family members out for the day and help them complete daily errands. Meaning that an elderly person never has to feel alone or unease. Home care is a great way to ensure that your loved one receives the right amount of care they need with the least amount of stress.
Maintain your loved one’s physical activity
Sir Muir Gray, from the Nuffield Department of Health at the University of Oxford emphasises it’s important that anyone stuck at home stays active ‘’even for just 10 minutes a day”. Staying active and spending time outdoors is benefits your physical and mental health. Being active helps maintain muscle and bone strength as well as keeping minds sharp. Exercise produces endorphins which can reduce feelings of stress, depression and anxiety, and will help you feel stronger, which can in turn give you and your loved ones’ self- confidence a nudge.
With parts of the country in various stages of lockdown, this may be the perfect time to explore your local area by going on peaceful walks with your family. Keeping active will allow older people to enjoy themselves after months of isolation which will in turn help them to feel more confident and optimistic about our current circumstances.
It is more important than ever that we help our friends and family stay happy and healthy during these turbulent times, especially those more vulnerable. By following the tips above, you can help keep your loved ones’ at ease, ensuring that they’re safe and are well looked after.
Sources for How to Promote Your Loved One’s Independence:
- Age UK: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/discover/2020/03/ways-to-help-older-people-
- Helping Hands: https://www.helpinghandshomecare.co.uk/home-care-services/elderly-care/
- WHO/Europe: https://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/health-emergencies/coronavirus-covid-19/news/news/2020/4/supporting-older-people-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-is-everyones-business
- The Telegraph: https://www.google.com/url?sa=D&q=https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/can-help-elderly-vulnerable-people-coronavirus-lockdown-advice
The Author of How to Promote Your Loved One’s Independence
This guest blog is by guest blogger Evelyn James. She is an emerging freelance writer who focuses on topics of mental health, elderly care, and family dynamics. She was inspired by how local communities came together during the coronavirus crisis. So, she decided to create content to help and inspire as many people as she can. When she isn’t writing, Evelyn can be found either out in the garden or with her head in a book.