As the colder and darker nights continue to draw in and Christmas approaches, this time of year can be especially lonely for older people who live alone.
Ashridge Home Care, a care agency based in Buckinghamshire, specialise in care that allows older individuals to stay in the comfort of their own homes. Offering not only assistance, but much needed companionship to older people who may be spending the holiday period alone.
A report from Age UK has shown that almost half a million older people in the UK spend Christmas on their own instead of being surrounded by family and loved ones.
Trudi Scrivener from Ashridge Home Care explains: ‘Home care differs from residential care homes, because we can tailor care to each individual and they can choose how many hours of assistance they’d like from their carer. This means that if more time is required over the Christmas period, whether that’s for a few hours shopping for gifts, someone to help decorate the tree with or just someone to chat to over a Christmas meal, carers like those at Ashridge Home Care can provide these services.’
Figures from Care Home UK indicate that around Christmas and the start of the New Year, enquiries into assistance for older people surges by 40%.
Trudi continues: ‘During this time of year, family members may be busier, struggling to find the time to visit their loved ones and help them with daily tasks. We often see an increase in enquiries from older people seeking companionship during this time of year.’
With family members busier, older people may need extra assistance over the Christmas period, which carers can provide them with, without them having to leave the comfort of their own homes.
For older people who value their independence and don’t see a residential care home as the best option for them, home care, whether that’s hourly or live-in, is an alternative which allows them to keep that sense of self.
Many older people who live alone still experience loneliness and a lack of companionship. The flexibility of live-in care and the close relationship which elderly individuals can build with their carer means that they can receive assistance and company over the Christmas period.
By giving older people the freedom of staying in their own home, live-in care can also help individuals to maintain a level of familiarity and a sense of independence which residential care homes may not be able to offer them.
Live-in care agencies such as Ashridge Home Care can offer older people and their families assurance and assistance not only during the Christmas period, but all year round.