[ March 13, 2014 ]
Growing older and the prospect of seeking extra care can be daunting, and at Shaw Healthcare we understand the importance of finding a care provider that suits your individual needs – from physical assistance to emotional support and social interaction.
In our experience, care settings which encourage creativity and variety in their work with older people can help residents to sleep better, stimulate memory, improve motor skills, make social connections, feel more alert and in control. One study found that incorporating a ‘creative element’ into care home life reduced the need for sleeping medication by 50% and incontinence materials by 75% as a result of a ‘much-enriched daily life’.
Chief executive of Age UK Suffolk Martyn Green espouses the need to think differently about old age, viewing it “like a business. If you don’t manage the key elements in time, things will fall apart. It is about us taking responsibility for our destiny. You want to be in control of your future, rather than somebody else being in control of it for you.”
So what should we be thinking of positively in terms of getting older in modern society? Considering the over 60s will make up over 40% of the UK population within the next 20 years it seems likely that the viewpoint of the elderly will be brought to the fore in all aspects of modern life:
- Improving healthcare and technology will continue to increase life expectancy and quality of life in old age;
- Advances in medicine and nutrition will provide us with better well-being and fitness, too;
- Social connections aren’t limited to face-to-face interaction – with the advent of social media and multi-platform communication, loneliness and isolation should be less of a concern for old people;
- Developing care services point towards more people being able to live independently at home;
- Recent generations are already planning on ‘actively ageing’, taking control over what they want to do in old age, from housing to care to travel;
- Home adaptations and architecture may become more geared towards making alterations much easier as we grow older;
Martyn emphasised the need to provide elderly people with the services they need, whether they are in a care home or living at home, from volunteer visitors to regular day centre sessions and advice centres in GP surgeries. He is also passionate about how the arts can enrich the lives of older people, ensuring that “time in care homes is fulfilling, creative and active.”
At Shaw Healthcare, our care homes and care services are very much person-centred, aiming to provide each individual with the resources and support they need to enjoy their later years. For information on Shaw services and care homes in your area, please visit www.shaw.co.uk.