Particularly for those who are elderly, the prospect of finding out if you are entitled to any state benefits when caring for someone can seem like a veritable minefield. The paperwork and bureaucracy involved are enough to put most of us off and, as a result, many carers struggle financially when they shouldn't be so financially badly off. Certainly the benefits for carers as outlined by the NHS are worth checking out as a starting point. Here at SCPA Care, a specialist Bristol care agency, we often help our clients work their way through some of the paperwork involved, if only to get it to make some sense. We are not allowed to give you financial advice with regard to your entitlements as the majority of them are means tested, but we can certainly help point you in the right direction.
Often the discovery of financial entitlements can lift a huge burden from our clients' shoulders, as though caring wasn't enough. However that increased income can also allow you the opportunity of sharing the load with social care in Bristol from ourselves at SCPA Care. Whether it is part-time, full-time or temporary care to give you a break to recharge your batteries, we are here to help you and we are very flexible in the ways we can do this. The aim of SCPA Care here in Bristol is to make your life easier, not more complicated, so we will do everything in our power to fit in with your needs and the needs of the person being cared for. Our staff are highly experienced, empathic, enthusiastic and cheerful, while also being hugely respectful of both the person being cared for, and those who have been providing care. Of course there is a huge difference between working as a carer and having to be a carer through circumstance, however in our case, that allows our carers to understand better than most what you have to go through on a daily basis.
One thing we have become aware of when performing temporary respite care for clients is the change in perspective after plenty of sleep and rest. Once everything falls back into proportion and you can think straight as opposed to just 'function', it is far easier to make practical and sensible decisions that will be for the benefit of both you and the person you are caring for. We also respect the fact that caring for a loved one is incredibly personal and creates a huge sense of responsibility. Here at SCPA Care in Bristol we understand that it may not be an easy decision to hand over the care and responsibility for the welfare of someone you love to a complete stranger, but it doesn't have to be so drastic. We are always happy to provide home support on what could be referred to as an 'introductory' basis and then, as trust and confidence grow, the gradual transfer of responsibility, over a period of time, can be arranged. If you are in that current predicament, why not give us a call here at SCPA Care and invite us out to have a chat with you. It will allow you the chance to meet us, and also get a greater understanding of how we can help you and the person you care for in a way you would be most comfortable with.
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The Importance of Companionship for Older People
Have you ever worried about being lonely one day when you are part of the elderly population? The thought of isolation and loneliness in our older years is something we have all most likely thought about at some point. As our lives pass us by, our memories grow richer with every passing experience. However, as time goes on, we will also start letting go of some important things. Our careers will come to an end as we retire, our kids will move out of the house and start their own families, our health will take a gradual knock and our friends will be facing the challenges of old age too.
All of these factors are major challenges that older people struggle with during their later stages in life, leaving them feeling lonely and isolated. This loneliness and isolation can take a real toll on an aged individual. Research has shown that loneliness and isolation can have a negative impact on both mental and physical health. It is because of these reasons and many others, that companionship becomes such a vital part of an older person's journey.
Companionship improves mental health
In the later years of life, people may experience psychological turmoil. Social interaction is an important part of our daily lives and without someone to talk to, share memories with, and confide in, people can suffer from extreme loneliness. These feelings of loneliness can bring along depression and anxiety too - ultimately leading them to feel as if there is no longer reason for them to stay healthy or purpose in their lives. With healthy companionship, an older person can keep their mind active and engaged, alleviating damaging stress levels and keeping them happy and positive. It has also been found in research that socially active elderly people are at a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's and other dementia related ailments. Looking after the emotional health of an aged person is also very important. Keeping them feeling worthy, hopeful and loved can make an incredible difference to the quality of the last part of their journeys.
Companionship improves physical health
An older person suffering from depression also becomes more susceptible to physical health problems. Depression can lead people to become less active, less motivated to look after themselves and less likely to focus on staying healthy. With isolation in old age, people can also face practical challenges that will affect their physical health. Long bouts of time alone might leave an elderly person without the intake of a balanced diet as they are unable to provide this for themselves. They may also forget to take their medication or to drink enough fluids.
Through companionship, older people can become more active by being out and about with friends or family. Even time at home can be physically healthier as they are encouraged to stay active, keep their residence tidy, and interact with those around them. Some people may need the security and comfort of companionship to know that if anything should happen to them, such as an injury, there will be somebody to help them.
Kinds of companionship for older people
There are different kinds of companionship that can drastically change the quality of life for an older person.
Being in touch and close to family can help an older person remain in touch with reality and keep their minds sharp. Having people, they have known and trusted for years will also help them feel safe and comfortable, knowing that they are not alone and are surrounded by people who love them. As a family member of an older person, it can become very difficult to dedicate enough time to spending with them while also trying to balance a career and home life.
This is where an aged individual can benefit from friendship. Friendship at this stage of life has shown to dramatically improve the mental state of the elderly. A friend at this age gives the older person someone who they can relate to - someone who is experiencing the same problems that they are going through and who is most likely dealing with loss too. With true friendship, the last stretch of their lives may be enriched with meaningful interactions and fulfilling moments.
Another great form of companionship for lonely elders, is a pet. Having an animal has been proven to improve the emotional state as well as mental and physical health of older people.
Companionship care from Social Care Personal Assistants
At Social Care Personal Assistants, our professionally trained care givers can provide a personal care service within and outside of the home. Our services can also include light cleaning and preparing meals. We understand that handing over the care and responsibility of your older beloved may feel like a drastic step. We are happy to offer support and build trust gradually, ultimately providing a meaningful and valuable source of companionship.
If you're interested in finding out more about our companionship services, get in touch with us