Increasingly elderly people are choosing to access aged care within their homes to remain living independently. The positive benefits of remaining at home as we age are many, however, for some people this may also result in feeling more isolated and lonely.
My 91 year old Mum lives independently at home with the support of a range of aged care services. After losing Dad last year, after 67 years of marriage, the family were concerned about Mum being isolated and lonely. After researching activities in her local area we found lots of options that may have interested her. With the support of two kind neighbours and a knitting project, Mum joined a local craft group. She was a little tentative about getting to know new people and joining an existing group but we all encouraged her to give it a go!
Well, 7 months down the track, Mum is enjoying her new social life, loves her craft mornings and has started to join other outings. She has a sparkle in her voice when recounting tales about her new friends and adventures. With the support of family and friends, new interests and home care services Mum is living a full and happy life. She would say “you are never too old to join a group and make new friends".
When planning for our future support needs we often focus only on maintaining our physical well being, and overlook our emotional needs. Considering strategies to counter the possibility of increased isolation and loneliness should be an important part of planning for the future. Developing and maintaining a variety of social networks and interests that will survive the test of time, is time well spent.
The Live Well Longer - ageing at home free Planning Guide outlines the steps to take to help you with your planning and, also, provides a useful planning template.
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