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Addressing social isolation through in home care and support

SPONSORED STORY - Social isolation was a problem affecting one in three Australians even before the reference became commonplace during the COVID-19 pandemic. With nearly seven billion people in the world it’s hard to understand how people, including older people,  may feel so alone, disconnected and isolated.

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It is easy for small changes to suddenly have an enormous impact on quality of life, especially when choosing to age in place. [Source: Supplied]

Australia is known as one of the friendliest and easiest countries to live in the world, so why are people in their senior years often living in isolation? Nearly 20 percent of Australians over 75 live with loneliness and nine percent say they are socially isolated.

Social isolation is one of the most important areas Australian home care provider Pearl Home Care seeks to overcome in the support of healthy, positive ageing.

More and more people are choosing to say no to residential aged care and to remain at home for as long as their health allows. In this new COVID-normal, it is these people that Pearl Home Care has built an awareness for, to help them avoid social isolation and maintain independence.

Founder and Director of Pearl Home Care, Paul Shehade, says, "Social isolation has a significant impact on a person’s longevity and is associated with an increased risk of dementia, anxiety and depression. 

"At Pearl Home Care we address this issue by providing the opportunity to participate in a variety of stimulating activities and ways to stay involved with friends, family and community. 

"We encourage our clients to pursue their hobbies and keep up relationships and also provide a program of Cognitive Stimulation Therapy, if required, to assist those with cognitive issues."

As we age, our social engagement can be affected by:

  • Mobility changes and restrictions, such as fear of driving and fear to leave the home

  • Increased fatigue and exhaustion

  • Decline in emotional wellbeing and social confidence

  • Financial limitations, which sees social spending being the first to be cut

  • Changes in our community participation and feeling a lack of purpose in the community

It is easy for small changes to suddenly have an enormous impact on quality of life, especially when choosing to age in place. 

Mr Shehade says, "These [loneliness and social isolation] issues were exacerbated during COVID-19, where our older population was unable to spend time or receive assistance from carers and loved ones. 

"Our team had to get creative with services to overcome the increased isolation. Through offering comfort calls and COVID-safe visits, we worked around the clock to stay in touch with our clients through the good times and the bad."

A regular visit from a Pearl Home Care specialist can quite literally be a lifesaver for someone living alone. 

Having a familiar, caring person visiting regularly will help ageing Australians maintain social connection, either in times of need or through regular supports to maintain independence. 

Research tells us it’s not the number of contacts we have, it's the quality of our relationships that is important as we age. These connections provide meaning, purpose, support and security, and are important for ongoing positive mental health and wellbeing.

With the right support from an in home carer, we can help keep our loved ones connected, engaged in the community they know and love, and ensure ageing in place is a happy, positive time.

If this has raised any concerns for you, contact your nearest Pearl Home Care office for a no obligation, in home aged care assessment.

About Pearl Home Care

Pearl Home Care offers the best in professional and affordable in home aged care so that the ageing members of our community can continue living comfortably and independently at home. 

Their team of medical and healthcare professionals, registered nurses, physical therapists, personal carers, and home and garden maintenance specialists can provide everything from domestic assistance, to post-hospital support, 24/7 on-call nursing, in home dementia and palliative care. Since everyone who works with Pearl Home Care is subject to detailed checks and clearances, clients can feel absolutely confident about allowing them into their homes.

Pearl Home Care is affordable and flexible, with no lock-in contracts, no sign-up fees or exit penalties and no hidden management charges. They can also help you navigate the complexities of the Government’s various funding programs, such as Home Care Packages and the National Disability Insurance Scheme, to ensure you are receiving appropriate levels of support.

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