YPWD Trustee and Healthcare Public Health Specialist Dr Buchi Reddy has identified two recent alerts from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) that highlight how the YPWD model of support both before and during the Covid-19 pandemic helps to reduce loneliness.
As Buchi says:
1. It’s interesting since it relates to our new ways of working during lockdown using remote and digital provision to stay connected. However for carers themselves or those living with families advised to self-isolate or shield for a long period it might mean a reduced opportunity for carer’s respite provision.
2. There are other alternate opportunities to look at like telephone support (Silverline) or social prescribing opportunities linking in with new Primary Care Networks (PCN) and Integrated Care System networks wherein a dedicated social prescribing link worker is funded for each PCN.
3. YPWD is aware of the fact that most caring is done informally in the UK and hence provides respite for carers supporting younger people with dementia. According to the Family Resources Survey (FRS), most informal carers are women (60%). Around 4.1 million informal carers are of working-age, 1.1 million are aged over 64 (21%), and 130,000 are children (3%).
NIHR Alert: Most people caring for relatives with dementia experience loneliness
Around two-thirds of family carers of people with dementia experience loneliness. Almost half are moderately lonely and a fifth are severely lonely, reports one of the first large scale studies to look at this issue.
Carers who felt lonely tended to have lower wellbeing, smaller social networks, and more stress associated with caregiving. A poor-quality relationship with the person with dementia was also linked to higher levels of loneliness.
Interventions to identify, prevent and reduce carer stress, and to improve the quality of carers’ interpersonal relationships, may help reduce loneliness. This may be particularly important while lockdown and social distancing measures are in place because of COVID-19.
Read more here
NIHR Alert: Loneliness in people with dementia is linked to social isolation and depression
One-third of people with mild-to-moderate dementia experience loneliness. 30% are moderately lonely and 5% are severely lonely, reports one of the first major studies to look at the issue. These figures are comparable to the general population of older people.
People with dementia who live alone, and who experience social isolation, depression and lower quality of life are more likely to feel lonely. But researchers found no association between loneliness and dementia-specific factors.
Interventions that help people tackle depression and build more supportive relationships may help reduce loneliness.
Read more here