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Home care can solve many modern day problems

Leader Reporter

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Home care can solve many modern day problems

There has never been a more important time to be in homecare. See www.homeinstead.ie

On the scores of work and family ‘conference’ calls, MS Teams, Zoom and WhatsApp a thought hit me hard; there has never been a more important time to be in home care, writes Liam Toland, owner and MD of Home Instead in Limerick and Clare.

The health of older people in Ireland has improved significantly over the last number of decades and as we live longer; successfully ageing, the demand for home care is projected to increase at a faster rate than budgeted. And with the current challenges our communities face, we’re reminded of the importance of staying at home.

The stated aim of Home Support Services is to help people remain living in their own homes for as long as possible.

For many, this is not a choice but a fact of their life where isolation is the real threat to their wellbeing. Covid-19 exacerbates this isolation where Trinity College’s Dr Sabina Brennan, a psychologist, neuroscientist and author of ‘100 Days to a Younger Brain’ states that socialisation is ‘Vital for Brain Health’. She highlights that humans tend to perish in isolation where access to social contact is so critical that placing an inmate in solitary confinement is a punitive measure with severe psychological consequences.

For most of us, family members, neighbours and Caregivers assistance with getting in and out of bed, with dressing and with personal care are hugely important but Dr Brennan reminds us that far greater success could be achieved through the ‘provision of professional carers who engage the individual in social and mentally stimulating activities’.

So, how can we socialise in a time where social distancing is the new norm? What does cocooning mean?

Or, if you live with a person who needs to be cocooned how does this impact? Thankfully the HSE website has torrents of brilliantly appropriate guidance on cocooning and the internet is awash with appropriate fun led activities centring on music, gardening, gentle exercise activities or simple social engagement platforms such as allwayswithyou.com or our own homeinstead.ie.

Just because a person with dementia forgets doesn’t mean they should be forgotten where never before have we all required activities for the mind, body and soul.