Loneliness week started on the 15th of June, a week dedicated to raising awareness around loneliness and to help people tackle this upsetting feeling.
There will be moments in everyone’s life where they will experience loneliness, however, for some people, this moment of loneliness may never pass. According to ‘Age UK’, ‘there are 1.4m chronically lonely older people in England and many more across the rest of the UK’.
Although chronic loneliness is a major problem with older people, it can happen to people of all ages. Those people who may feel disconnected from their family or community, children who may have a disadvantaged upbringing or disabled people feeling lonely because of the struggles they face daily.
Loneliness is one of the largest health concerns we face in the UK but because it is a mental and emotional matter, it can sometimes be overlooked. However, loneliness is more damaging for someone than obesity according to the ‘Campaign to end loneliness’. They explain how ‘lonely people are more likely to suffer from dementia, heart disease and depression’.
This year, we face the challenge of coronavirus and government guidelines to stay at home. Many older and vulnerable people who experience loneliness will count on their carers to help them feel better.
Carers are there for vulnerable people to talk to, share their memories with and carers can remind lonely people about all the positive things in their life. By sharing regular conversations, carers build relationships and help lonely people feel less isolated from society.
If lonely people struggle to connect with family and friends, carers can help them overcome this problem. Many older people struggle with technology, so they may find it helpful if carers can set up video calls or send emails so they can reconnect with people online.
Lonely people may feel alone even when they’re surrounded by lots of people. By simply accompanying an older and vulnerable person to the supermarket, carers can help them feel more accepted in the community.
If you want to help in the fight against loneliness and you enjoy working with people, then a career in caring may be for you. You will become a support system for older and vulnerable people who may not have family and friends to help them feel less lonely and isolated.
A career in care can be very worthwhile and can turn into a rewarding and long-term profession. If you’d like to learn more about starting a career in care, visit our ‘vacancies page’ to find a role near you.