Dementia and Loneliness are the two conditions affecting the wellbeing of our older people the most. Mental health issues and depression are commonly found amongst older people too.
Helping the wellbeing of dementia and loneliness sufferers is crucial as referenced by Age UK London. There are 130,000 people aged over 85 in London, and that is expected to increase to 180,000 by 2024.
Below are some examples of how we can help with Dementia and Loneliness which in turn will improve the wellbeing of our older people.
Increased levels of activity, engagement and involvement can have a positive effect on the quality of life of our older people.
Inactivity and low levels of engagement lead to loss of physical function, social isolation, behavioural symptoms and poor quality of life.
Loved Ones and Carers
Family, friends and carers should be involved in these activities to ensure the activity is meaningful and that relationships are developed and maintained.
This can include daily activities such as dressing and eating, reading, gardening, and arts and crafts. Activities can be structured or spontaneous.
Older people should be enabled to maintain and develop their personal identity.
Being aware of an older person’s personal history and interests can make a real difference to their self-esteem and their self-confidence.
Older people should be seen as having a past and having had interests in their life, rather than as just someone who, for example, has dementia.
Opinions and Choice
Older people should be involved in decision-making. Supported and enabled to express who they are as an individual and what they want, making their own choices whenever possible.
Furthermore, we can ensure that older people are able to choose their own clothes, have their most valued possessions with them, and choose where to sit while they are eating.
Small measures can make a real difference when it comes to looking after our older people to give them the best love and care possible to minimise the effects of living with Dementia and Loneliness.