Morris Care offers short stays to combat loneliness for older people

It’s a sad fact that Christmas and New Year, the celebratory season of love and goodwill, can also be one of the loneliest times for the elderly. According to Age UK, more than two million people in England at the age of 75 live alone.

Older people are particularly more vulnerable to loneliness and social isolation when images abound of expectations of happiness and fun, and they are left to reflect on a very different reality.

It may be because they do not have close family and friends, or if they do, their families are too busy with work and Christmas preparations to be able to spend enough time with them. If cold winter days or poor health restrict a person’s ability to get out and about too, it’s not surprising that such feelings of loneliness can be compounded.

Thankfully, it does not have to be this way – there are services out there to help alleviate these feelings, provide a more positive outlook on life and nurture friendships.

Morris Care is a care provider that understands the issue and is encouraging people to consider a short stay or respite care in one of its trusted quality care homes through the winter period.

Such welcoming environments staffed by caring and skilled professionals are not just for long-term residents, they are available to people in the community who may be feeling lonely or vulnerable at this time of year.

Morris Care are inviting older people or their families to get in touch to arrange a visit to one of their six homes, to meet the staff and to join in one of the many social activities and see if it is an option that would suit them.

Minimum one-week stays can be arranged to provide a welcome break from the norm, in a warm and luxurious environment.

Chief Operating Officer Sue Austin said: “Residents in our care homes have the support they need so they no longer have to feel lonely. We work to make every day the best it can be, whether it’s simply spending time talking with them, helping people join in with activities or assisting them to make new friends with fellow residents.

“We believe there are people out there who could benefit from this approach so they don’t have to feel alone or lonely.  It’s an opportunity to spend a short time with us but one that could provide longer-lasting benefits.

“We recognise there are different types of loneliness, indeed being alone and being lonely are not the same thing. Most people will feel lonely at some point in their lives but for a growing number of older people loneliness can define their lives and have a significant impact on their wellbeing.

“We are trained to make a difference. The important thing is to seek the social contact and support that will make people feel better.”

The causes of loneliness affect so many people with factors including living alone, being widowed or divorced, a lack of contact with friends and family and limited opportunities to participate in social occasions. Retirement, poor health, limited mobility and social care needs can play a part too. Engaging in group exercise can help reduce loneliness in older people.

Loneliness is associated with depression, sleep problems, impaired cognitive health, heightened vascular resistance, hypertension, psychological stress and mental health problems. The statistics from Age UK make grim reading:

200,000 older people say they haven't had a conversation with friends or family for a month.
3.9 million older people agree the television is their main form of company.
Loneliness can be as harmful for our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

If you would like to find out more about a short stay at Morris Care, visit www.morriscare.co.uk or call 0345 515 0086. 

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