This week is Mental Health Awareness Week with a focus that we feel hits the vulnerable and the elderly the most – loneliness.
Did you know that:
- Up to 85% of young disabled adults – 18 to 34-year-olds – admit to feeling lonely.
- 8 out of 10 carers have felt lonely or isolated as a result of looking after a loved one.
- 58% of migrants and refugees in London described loneliness and isolation as their biggest challenge.
Dispelling the myths
The pandemic saw many people of all ages isolated. Care homes and hospitals did not allow visitors during that time. Those shielding and those that lived alone were impacted the most. That said, a notable statistic was the number of young people who experience feelings of “loneliness, anxiety and panic” who did not expect to feel this way.
Aster Care recognises the importance of mental well-being. Being in the care industry you need to be able to spot signs of poor mental health within the people we care for, as well as their families and of course our team.
Spotting loneliness can be quite difficult but there are some signs that can be displayed, particularly in the elderly and vulnerable.
- Change in appetite – either under or overeating
- Anger – this often stems from feeling unheard or too proud to speak up
- Sleep – poor sleep can be an indicator, which often is alongside feeling tired all the time
- Increased buying habits and or internet use – basically finding something to do and finding some connection
How to find out if someone is lonely
Thankfully there is a ton of resources out there about loneliness.
UCLA have developed a loneliness test that can be used to understand the best ways to support someone who is open to talking.
We also like the NHS resources on Mental Health as a whole. They have some great articles not only on how to support others with poor Mental Health but also how to keep your own in good shape. Here is one of our favourite articles https://www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters/mental-wellbeing-tips/top-tips-to-improve-your-mental-wellbeing/