Elderly care can be very challenging, the line between adequate care, attentive support and independence being very thin and sometimes delicate. When caring for the elderly, we can all do our bit to ensure that independence is being promoted. A recent article in the Guardian suggested that few in the UK feel older people have a good quality of life. According to Age UK, nearly 900,000 older people now have unmet needs for social care. With the proportion of older people in the country due to rise from 23% to 28% and the number of those aged 85+ set to double by 2030, we have a joint responsibility as a population to promote quality of life for older people and ensure that we are avoiding negative stereotyping and casual ageism.
This is why our various 24 hour home care services can be adapted to every single client’s personal needs and requirements, ensuring that older clients receive the quality of care that they deserve and continue to live independently. At Sova Healthcare, we also ensure that all staff and live-in carers are compliant with Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Disclosed Barring Service (DBS) procedures, and that all of our personal care services are defined by providing the best quality of life for everyone regardless of age, gender, disability or illness. Likewise, we all have an individual responsibility to look out, care for, support and assist elderly people as much as we can whilst respecting their independence. In doing so, here are a few aspects to consider and take into account when engaging with older people:
Older people can be lonely
Loneliness is a key factor when considering quality of life. Now considered a serious public health issue, isolation has been proven to impact blood pressure and is closely linked to depression. Helping limit isolation can help improve an older person’s quality of life, while enabling them to remain in the comfort of their own home. Community initiatives are helping to tackle loneliness for those who do not necessarily have any family nearby to see, but likewise, many of us are able to have a positive impact on an older person’s life by spending valuable social time with them. Your spare time can be a source of vital companionship and emotional support. Alternatively, we can also provide companionship care services, helping older people to manage their everyday tasks whilst also keeping them company.
Allowing for independence
If you are caring for an older person, promotion of independence is key to not only quality of life but also to their morale. Often, losing your independence can lead to compensative voluntary isolation, and sometimes even depression. Being supportive and caring is key, and yet not being overpowering or overbearing can really help to promote independence. Considering when you don’t necessarily need to assist can not only help mobility but also remind older people that they are still independent and respected. For example, an able older person can often complete simple household tasks, and allowing for this ensures that they are not being made to feel fully dependent and therefore maintain their regular physical activities and morale.
Respecting, nurturing and valuing relationships
Maintaining the promotion of independence as integral to your relationship will naturally raise an older person’s quality of life. Some older people may be reluctant, but if you can make someone feel respected and let them know that you are still seeing them as individuals, they will often be instilled with a sense of pride and a heightened sense of identity.
Ensuring that care needs are met
Allowing for independence is crucial, but you also need to make sure that care needs are being met, notably with recent concerns. An older person might decide to opt for full time domiciliary care services rather than going to a care home, simply to remain in the comfort of their own home and preserve their independence. This is a great decision – if the quality of the care services is adequate. This is why we at Sova Healthcare strive to offer a wide range of home care services, such as night care services for the most independent. Indeed, we assess each situation based purely on an older person’s needs, and there are a variety of enhanced care options available, such as assisted living, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, and live-in care services. If you are looking for specialist elderly care services and 24h home care, or if you would simply like more information, get in touch with one of our branches, email us, or call a member of our friendly team on 0800 688 8866.