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The negative effects of the clocks changing

At the end of October, the clocks will once again go back an hour. While we all look forward to the extra hour in bed, if not the dark evenings, this seemingly inconsequential change can be a very challenging time for the elderly. 

Darker evenings make it difficult to get out 

As the evenings begin to get darker much earlier than the rest of the year, we can be hesitant to venture out into the night once the sun sets, especially if it’s particularly cold or miserable outside. Now imagine if your eyesight isn’t what it used to be or your mobility is limited because of arthritis, would you want to go out after dark?

Unfortunately, this is the reality for many elderly people. Not only does this give them limited time to get out of their house and into the fresh air to run errands, it also dramatically cuts down their already limited time to socialise, increasing feelings of isolation and loneliness. 

The effects of loneliness 

Loneliness seems to be a growing problem in our society and is a particular problem for those in later life. It is estimated that 3.6 million older people in the UK alone suffer from it, 2 million of those are over 75 years old, and, perhaps most shockingly, more than 1 million can go over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member.

There has been much research into the effects of loneliness in recent years and it has been found to have a serious impact on a person’s mental and physical wellbeing, including depression, mental health problems, decreased cognitive health and stress. 

How you can help 

We urge you at this particularly difficult time of year to check on your elderly relative, neighbour or friend by popping over for a cup of tea or picking up the phone to make sure they are doing ok. You can also help when you’re out and about by starting a conversation with someone who is on their own, even if it’s simply to remark on the weather.

This simple act of kindness can have a huge impact on a lonely person’s life and encourage them to engage in social activity where they may have been reluctant before. There are also many befriending schemes which you can volunteer for. Not only will you be helping to prevent loneliness, you’ll also meet some great people too!

Burley’s Home Care offers professional tailored care services for the elderly across Dorset and Hampshire, and in the comfort of their own home. So, if your loved one needs extra help with day to day tasks from a fully trained carer and friendly face, please don’t hesitate to contact us today on 01425 470411. A member of our helpful team will be more than happy to discuss your needs and answer any questions.