My Home is my Castle – how can we help the disabled elderly maintain a good quality of life in their own homes
For many elderly people living in their own home, this will have become their “castle” and their “haven”. If they become disabled, either mentally or physically, they may reach a point where they perhaps are no longer able look after themselves and their property, but are nonetheless determined to stay in that same castle. What can we do to help these elderly people remain in their own homes and maintain a reasonable quality of life?
We spoke to Kay Mitchell from C.A.P.E (Community Action Project for the Elderley). C.A.P.E is a registered self-funding charity that provides Domestic Home Help to approximately 550 clients over the age of 60 in the Southend Borough.
Many of their clients are housebound, disabled, isolated and/or lonely and the Home Help is often the only person they see during the week. Unfortunately, these carers are not allowed to undertake hands on therapies and this is often the very thing these clients crave – a little TLC, perhaps a very gentle shoulder massage, a little reflexology maybe………….. anything that can ease the stresses and tensions of their very lonely existences.
IF YOU ARE A QUALIFIED THERAPIST, WHY NOT CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING YOUR SERVICES – EVEN AN HOUR A WEEK WOULD BE WONDERFUL
Many elderly people have dogs or other pets. These are often their best friends – maybe their only friends! It is extremely therapeutic for housebound and lonely people to have pets; something to stroke and cuddle. Something to give love to, and receive unconditional love back from. But pets, particularly dogs, need exercise that their owners may no longer be able to provide.
If you like animals and have a little free time, why not volunteer to walk an elderly persons dog for them on a regular basis? If you do not know anyone you can offer this service to, please ring Cinnamon Trust on 01736 757900 and they will put you in touch with someone who needs your help. The charity is based in Cornwall but has volunteers across the country. Recently, we referred a lady from Chelmsford with terminal cancer to the charity. She was at a point where she thought her beloved Lhasa Apso would need to be rehomed as she couldn’t exercise him. Within a matter of hours, the Cinnamon Trust organised walkers twice a day for her pet and reassured her that when the time came, they would ensure they found the dog a good home. But in the meantime, she is able to cherish the time she has left with her dog.
But above all, if you know an elderly and/or housebound person living on their own, why not just pop in occasionally for a cup of tea and a chat!! Those few minutes of your time you give may just be the highlight of their week.
And wouldn’t that make you feel good?
Tags: elderly, housebound, lonely elderly, quality of life