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Creating opportunities to connect

Social isolation can affect anyone at any time, but more so during the pandemic when our level of human contact has been reduced. 

For older people, people with a disability or those who have recently been bereaved, the risk of social isolation and loneliness is that much greater.

The team at the Great Care Company, a specialist home care provider operating in the Northwest of England, with offices across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, organised afternoon tea events for their clients, to help people to reconnect as lockdown measures eased.

Katie Parsons, assistant manager at their new office in Harrogate said: ‘Now that lockdown has eased, in a bid to support our clients from feeling isolated or lonely, we decided to organise an afternoon tea event as a way of bringing people together to enjoy an afternoon socialising safely.

‘Sadly, on the day of the event the weather was not so good, so instead of cancelling the event we made afternoon tea boxes to deliver to people’s own homes. We set them up as a savoury box and a sweet box, with pink napkins and a treat of a can of gin and tonic each.”

‘Our clients were extremely happy when we arrived at their homes with such a selection of goodies. They had thought that with the bad weather the event would have been cancelled.

‘I was joined by our senior carer, Sally, to make the deliveries, and we stayed with each client long enough to make them a cup of tea and serve them the delicious afternoon tea we had prepared and have a chat. It was such a lovely afternoon and great to see the smile on people’s faces.’

Loneliness can have a huge impact on the wellbeing of many older people, making them unhappy and often lowering their self-confidence and ability to cope and reach out to other people.

Research shows that loneliness can also lead to depression and increase the risk of other health conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, high blood pressure and heart disease.

The Great Care Company has been leading a campaign called Four Walls to help combat the negative effects of social isolation and loneliness among their clients.

The initiative identifies individuals at greater high risk of isolation or loneliness to enable staff to provide a tailored and enhanced approach to their care so that the right level of support and opportunities for interaction is available to clients.

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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