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Technology offers solution to loneliness among elderly

In tens of thousands of households across Scotland the day begins early with a key turning in the lock.

‘It’s only me,’ cries a professionally cheery voice. Footsteps clatter to the kitchen to put the kettle on, a head appears round the bedroom door and a uniformed carer enters with a snap of plastic gloves. It’s time to get up.

What follows is a whirlwind of washing and dressing and with one eye on the clock the helper is away again leaving their charge with a cup of tea, a slice of toast, a long day ahead and, probably, the television for company. (more…)

News Society Older people ‘Most of these elderly people have a simple need – not to be on their own’

For thousands of isolated older people whose families are far away and whose council help has been cut, innovative community schemes are tackling the ‘generation strain’ of lonelinessare

Eric Clayton, kneeling, with volunteer Brian Slack on their allotment at Garforth, Leeds.

Eric Clayton, kneeling, with volunteer Brian Slack on their allotment at Garforth, Leeds. Photograph: Gabriel Szabo/Guzelian

Richard, 79, a retired railway engineer in the Midlands, is cheerful and courteous on Good Friday as he explains that since the council axed the Dial-a-Ride scheme his social life, including a lunch club, shopping and outings, has been reduced to a single visit each week to church. A neurological condition means that Richard (not his real name) needs a wheelchair. A member of the congregation comes to push him the short distance to church. “I’m extremely lucky in that respect,” he says. Richard is now confined to his room in his sheltered accommodation, six days out of seven. A reduction in staff from six to two also means that his fellow residents are unknown to each other, as there is no extra help to arrange social events. (more…)

Internet Use Can Reduce Depression Risk in Elderly

Can reduce the chances of depression by more than 30 percent.

By Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

on April 18, 2014

Internet Use Can Reduce Depression Risk in ElderlyLoneliness can fuel depression in older adults, and experts estimate that as many as 10 million older Americans suffer from depression.

Now, a new study suggests information technology, specifically use of the Internet, among the elderly can reduce the chances of depression by more than 30 percent.

Researchers followed the lives of thousands of retired older Americans reviewing data collected by the Health and Retirement Survey — a survey collecting information from more than 22,000 older Americans every two years.

“The 30 percent reduction is a very strong effect,” said Shelia Cotten, Ph.D., a Michigan State University professor of telecommunication, information studies and media who led the project.

“And it all has to do with older persons being able to communicate, to stay in contact with their social networks, and just not feel lonely.” (more…)

Carers need to feel that they are valued

In her weekly column for Wirral News, MP for Wirral South Alison McGovern writes about the vital work of carers

Alison McGovern, Labour MP for Wirral South and Shadow Minister for International Development

To be responsible for meeting the physical and mental needs of another human being is a huge responsibility and a job we should value.

That’s why, this week, I am looking forward to work shadowing care workers at a nursing home to get a real hands-on insight into the work and also find out what the challenges faced are at the moment.

Carers need to feel that they are valued in what they do as being a good carer is a role that is not easy and requires much skill.

A carer’s work can be challenging so it is all the more important that they get a fair deal in their working conditions. (more…)

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