Dementia, loneliness and becoming re-engaged with society

Loneliness can be crippling at any stage of life, but can be very pronounced as we begin to age.

Children move away and start their own families, partners and friends pass away and it becomes harder to get out and about.

Government programs to keep more people in their homes have improved in the last 30 years and there has been a shift to a greater use of community care services. However, loneliness and social isolation can be a major cause of concern for older people living at home. In fact, loneliness has been linked to physical illness and functional and cognitive decline.

Local networks and social groups

Encouraging people to become involved in local networks and social groups is becoming key to ensuring our older loved ones are happy.

(To learn more about the experience of loneliness of dementia, click here.)

Heading out to a game of bingo, seeing a show at the local club or getting involved in a Men’s Shed are just a few of the ways older people can engage with the broader community.

Men’s Sheds

Men’s Sheds are a fantastic way to meet new friends, keep hands and minds active and also help the community. Not all Men’s Sheds are the same – if you looked inside you might see a number of men making furniture, perhaps restoring bicycles for a local school, making Mynah bird traps, fixing lawn mowers or making a cubby house for a community group to raffle.

You might also see a few young men working with the older men, obtaining new skills and learning something about life from the older men they are working beside.

Case Study – Albert

One of Oxley Home Care’s clients had been spending far too much time at home alone and had un-diagnosed depression before his family engaged our services.

*Albert had lost his wife some years ago and while he was reluctant to have someone care for him in his home, his son was insistent that he receive some assistance.

Oxley Home Care assessed Albert and realised he had been suffering with extensive depression since his wife had died and had been unable to drive for the past year.

After a few visits with his carer Ahlam, he began to open up about his connection with the Salvation Army Band in Granville – an organisation he had been involved with for many years.

With Albert’s permission, his care worker organised to take him to church every Sunday. This has been a regular service every Sunday since May 2015.

Albert says that Oxley Home Care and Ahlam have saved his life and he will always be grateful for the assistance and support he was shown.

Did you find this article informative?

To find out more about the loneliness of dementia, click here

About Oxley Home Care

Oxley Home Care, established in 2006, is a family-owned Sydney company and is an Approved Government Provider for aged care services, specialising in Dementia Care.

Oxley Home Care is an Approved Provider of Home Care Packages funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing and holds an allocation of Home Care Packages. These packages are designed to provide assistance to the elderly, to remain living independently at home.

To gain access to a Home Care Package, the government requires that you undergo a comprehensive assessment by your local Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). To arrange the assessment, contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or visit the My Aged Care web site.

For further information, please feel free to call Oxley Home Care on 1300 993 591.

Gilian Douglass

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