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How can you help loneliness in the elderly?

Loneliness amongst the elderly has been a headline in the media for a while now, and it’s a growing public health concern. More and more people over fifty are feeling lonely and isolated, and it’s having a major impact on not only their mental health but a serious negative effect on their physical health. 

The Campaign to End Loneliness found that 63% of adults over the age of 52 feel lonely and 59% of adults over 52 with poor health often feel alone. Many of these people rarely see their family or friends and/or separated or widowed. 

Loneliness is more than just damaging to our mental health. Feeling isolated and alone can have the same impact on our physical health as smoking 15 packets of cigarettes a day and increases the likelihood of mortality by 26%. These shocking statistics highlight the importance of tackling this global pandemic. 

The impact of social isolation is something that even the economy is feeling. According to the London School of Economics, “each lonely older person could cost the could cost health and social care services up to £6,000 over 10 years.” Areas within Manchester such as Moss Side, Ardwick, Cheetham and Crumpsall are at a very high risk of loneliness in adults over the age of 65. 


So what is being done in Manchester to combat 

the rising rates of social isolation? 


Manchester was the first UK city to join the World Health Organisation network of Age-Friendly Cities. 

Manchester’s ten-year strategy called ‘Manchester - a great city to grow old’ has awarded grants to over 200 community groups. 

So what can you do to help?

Age UK and The Campaign to End Loneliness offer a ‘befriending’ services for those older people who regularly feel lonely. The charity matches volunteers with a local older person for 1-2-1s or phone calls. Volunteers are free to visit their matched older person for 30 minutes to an hour on regular weekly visits. If you have a neighbour or an elderly family member, pop round a couple of times a week, even if it is just for thirty minutes. 

Providing just a bit of regular social interaction can not only improve their mental wellbeing but research suggests it could also decrease mortality rates. 

Run a community group in your local area that encourages social interaction between older people and the younger generation. Many churches and community halls offer venue space for free. Again, doing this helps older people who may have family or friends build a community and links to people they wouldn’t necessarily get to meet outside of a community ran group. 

If you have a family member who requires regular medical attention or care, consider looking for a private carer. A good home care provider would not only provide that medical assistance but also sit down, have a chat and provide that social interaction that an older person may need. 

Mother Teresa said, “Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.” With an ageing population, social isolation is something to take control of or it will become a terrible pandemic. 

We all have the ability to provide great care to those people and we all have an opportunity to socialize with an older lonely person. It could just save their life.

Care Home Staff Facing Chronic Stress

Care home staff reach crisis point with reports 

of worker burnout.

Research shows that abuse and neglect are commonplace in care homes in this country with this being largely attributed to care worker burnout!

Research conducted by the University of Central London (UCL), asked 1,544 care workers anonymously to describe what they had either seen or done in the last three months.It found that 91 out of 92 care homes surveyed reported abuse and neglect.

Over a quarter of the staff said that they or their co-workers made residents wait for care, while one in five said that residents were not given enough time to eat their food. Five percent of the workers reported verbal abuse and one percent reported physical abuse.   with regards to It’s believed that this research is ‘just the tip of the iceberg’. Abuse in care homes is still vastly under-reported and many carers don’t speak out for fear of reprisal.


BURN OUT

The findings of this research found there was a definite link between reported abuse and neglect, and staff burnout.  Dr Claudia Cooper, the study’s lead author said, ‘’These behaviours were most common in care homes that also had high rates of staff burn out, which suggests it is a consequence of staff who are under pressure.’’

Candace Imison, Director of Policy at the Nuffield Trust, addresses this issue of staff burnout by describing burnout as being caused ‘by chronic stress in the work environment.’  Care staff are at higher risk due to factors such as long working hours and exhausting shift patterns as well as a lack of control over the demands placed upon them.

What makes this matter all the more pressing and urgent? According to Dr Brown, what makes this matter all the more pressing is that by 2021, it is estimated that over 1 million people will have dementia in this country.

Candace Imison, Director of Policy at the Nuffield Trust, addresses this issue of staff burnout by describing burnout as being caused ‘by chronic stress in the work environment.’  Care staff are at higher risk here due to factors such as long working hours and exhausting shift patterns as well as, and a lack of control over the demands placed upon them.

These pressures put on care workers have resulted in the desired person-centred-care, being replaced by more task-focused treatment.

What makes this matter all the more pressing and urgent? According to Dr Brown, what makes this matter all the more pressing is that by 2021, it is estimated that over 1 million people will have dementia in this country.

With 70% of people in care homes living with dementia, it is these people who are receiving the brunt of this poor care and it’s due to a lack of funding. Dr Doug Brown, Chief Policy and Research Officer at Alzheimer’s Society, cited how, ‘’The government must act now, with meaningful investment and reform, or risk the system collapsing completely.



Why Be A Holm Carer?

Holm carers are a vital part of the Holm family, we wouldn’t function without them. We’re always looking for new carers to register on Holm and so we thought we’d tell you just a few reasons why our carers love being on Holm and why are users cherish the carers as much as we do.

  1. High-quality carers

We only choose the top 1% of carers who apply to be on Holm. Our carers are only accepted onto the platform after we’ve referenced them and interviewed them. We personally meet each carer to make sure they’re of the highest quality.  We do this not only to make sure our users are guaranteed the care they deserve, but this means that our carers are part of a community of like-minded people who are good at their job, can offer support and advice to one another. If you become a private-carer on Holm, you’ll instantly be welcomed into this strong community.

2. Choose the hours you work

Providing private home care isn’t an easy job. When you’re working for an agency, you might find yourself working exhausting and unsociable hours, leading to stress and exhaustion. Our carers get to choose the hours they work with the client, giving them more control of their career and their lives. While our carers are providing care to our users, we have a duty to provide care for our carers and a large part of that care includes making sure we look after their mental health. This is why we make sure our home carers have full control of where they work, who they work with and how many hours they work.

3. Fair pay

We believe that a happy and respected carer provides better care. While an agency takes a large commision from a carers pay, we only charge 20% on top of what carers earn, the rest goes in their pocket.

Receiving payment as a Holm carer is easy. Payment is only taken once the carer has confirmed the booking. Money is held by a safe third party company until both the client and the carer have confirmed the visit was completed successfully. The carer is then paid the following Friday.


4. All for the client

Our registered carers are not our employees. This isn’t an agency and so we don’t treat our carers like we are one. When you’re a Holm carer, you’re self-employed and work for the client, not for us. Most agencies have a tight control over their staff, but we impose no restrictions on carers. We simply expect them to offer great care and make sure that people are happy and safe.


5. Simple communication and payment

With Holm, our private carers and their clients communicate through the Holm website. You can book, arrange and talk with your private carer through the Holm website without worrying about texting, calling or emailing. It’s much easier than contacting your client or carer than going through an agency.

So if you’re a carer and you want freedom and control over the hours you work as well as become part of a large community of quality care providers. Register on Holm today or get in touch with us to find out more.


What To Look For In A Carer

Home care comes in various different forms and can offer you or a loved one lots of support that is tailored to their/your specific needs. If you require help dressing or washing, or with domestic assistance, cooking, healthcare or even just companionship, a home carer could be beneficial for you, but we understand how scary and intimidating it can be to find a carer you trust.

Here are our top 5 things to look for in a carer.

1. Quality Care


Look for a carer who is not only qualified to take care of you or a loved one, but also provides high-quality care. A carer who has both experience and qualifications will provide the best home care. It is okay to ask for their qualifications when interviewing a carer. With Holm, our registered carers have their qualifications listed on their profile.


2. Reviews


Before you buy a new phone, or a new mattress or go to that fancy new restaurant around the corner, you probably, and rightly so, read a heap of reviews to make sure it’s good enough. Other people’s opinions and experiences are extremely important and helpful, especially when it comes to care providers.

3. Location


It’s simple but important to take into consideration the location of your care provider. Neither you nor your carer wants to spend important time, which could be used for providing quality care, commuting back and forth. Look for a carer who is close enough to reach your loved one's house within a decent commute time so they can spend their time doing what they do best - care.

4. Personality


You want your loved one to get along and enjoy spending time with their carer, especially if you have a live-in care provider. Your carer and loved one will spend a lot of time together so it is vital that they get along. Our carers all have a bio at the top of their profile which gives you a bit more insight into their lives, so make sure to read this before booking any time with them. Also, feel free to ask questions and learn more about your carer, who they are and what they do. Tell them about who they will be caring for.

5. Availability 


Make sure that the carer you want is available at the times you need them. If you only need a care provider on Mondays, talking to a carer who is only available on weekends would not work for you or your loved one. On the Holm website, you can see exactly when each carer is available and how much notice they require before working.

So there are our top 5 things to look for when finding a carer. If you’re in need of a care provider in the Manchester area, check out our available carers on Holm today.