Elderly people who experience loneliness miss the simple everyday moments of contact with others that many of us take for granted. A carefully chosen home care service can help alleviate this.
A recent study by the Campaign to End Loneliness found the two things that lonely older people miss most of all are sitting with someone and sharing a laugh with another person.
This is why it's so important that home care staff visiting people who may be lonely are able to deliver a holistic service which goes beyond that of performing domestic and care tasks. After all, what price a smile, a giggle and pausing to chat?
Sometimes the sheer joy of a titter, a chuckle or a guffaw are absent from the lives of elderly people. Studies have shown that laughter can prevent certain health conditions which particularly affect older people. For instance, laughter busts stress. It is our body's most natural way of alleviating tension, and it stimulates the brain as well as our nervous, respiratory and muscular systems.
Laughter Can Be The Best Medicine
A regular dose of the giggles can also help boost our immune system, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, alleviate depression and aid heart health. All of these are conditions that can particularly affect older people.
Laughter also elevates the endorphin levels in our brains, which helps reduce pain and stress. Research has shown that social laughter – laughing with others – is particularly effective at raising endorphin levels.
Laughter can also help elderly people talk about and deal with difficult subjects. We all know the saying “if I didn’t laugh I’d cry”, and this is true for helping deal with stress and tricky social situations. Delivering home care services with a little laughter can help reduce awkwardness around personal care, for example, or when someone is simply having a bad day.
A chuckle and a smile help strengthen the bond between elderly people and care staff. People who gravitate naturally towards work in the care profession are most often the type of person we’re inclined to warm to, who cheer us up with a smile and a laugh. So whilst home care workers keep people safe and help them with daily tasks, the benefits of inviting a friendly face into our homes each day can be so much broader.