Loneliness in older adults is not only socially isolating but can also have a serious effect on health. Did you know that social isolation is associated with an approximately 50% increased risk of dementia and other medical conditions?
It’s important to realise that loneliness impacts everyone at some stage in their lives, no matter the age. Many seniors don’t realise how lonely they are until their circumstances change and they enter a warm and welcoming community such as Holmwood Aged Care.
For resident, Coral, living at Holmwood Aged Care has meant she has overcome that feeling of loneliness and she finds herself being more social than she ever was at home. With no time to be bored, Coral’s active life helps to keep her connected to our internal and external Holmwood community.
Continue reading her story below to see how living at Holmwood Aged Care has enriched her life.
What do you enjoy most about living at Holmwood Aged Care?
There are always people around. You wake up in the morning and there are people to talk to, and be around, and it is lovely. I can have as much or as little company as I like. There are activities to join, movies to watch, spaces to sit in and enjoy, and the staff are always available to help, or just chat with.
Have you felt less lonely since moving into the community?
So much less here compared to when I lived at home. I think since living at Holmwood, it’s a different world compared to when I lived at home. Before coming here, my friends and I were all getting older, and it was very much an effort and difficult to catch up.
Since living at Holmwood, I am not left out or forgotten and it’s not too hard work for me to go and join in on activities. We are all treated with respect, and the staff always make sure that I am happy, that I am doing something I want to do, or enjoying some time by myself.
I do tend to amuse myself with my own activities as well and I am supported to do this by the team. Sometimes I do feel lonely, but it is a different loneliness to what I felt at home, the staff are here with me and they always make time for me and it is just lovely to have that kind of support available all the time.
Has living at Holmwood Aged Care helped increase your socialisation? Have you made some friends since moving in?
I have lived in two different ‘houses’ since I first came to Holmwood. I originally came here for respite and stayed a while before heading home, but I loved it here so much that I came back and I am so happy I did as I feel very settled here.
There are so many residents here and we all get along so well. When I go for a walk, I can stop and talk to other residents, plus we all like to get together regularly for a cuppa. I have made many friendships and we are encouraged to be social and make friends with other residents too. I enjoy a glass of wine with a friend once a week where we like to catch up and have a lovely chat.
I still have friends outside of Holmwood too, so I often keep in touch with them, but I was living alone and relied on others to come to me, where as now, I can move around this whole community and can always find company when I like.
Do you have a special memory from when you first arrived at Holmwood and what it was that made you feel welcomed?
When I first came here for respite, there was this lovely carer, Leah, who I remember made me feel so welcome in the community. All the staff make the time to talk to me, it’s just very natural, like nothing was a bother.
I remember going to the dining room each day with some new friends I’d made, and we were the ‘naughty’ table, always laughing, joking, teasing one another, and bantering with the staff. It really is a lot of fun here. The atmosphere and feeling of being welcomed from all residents were terrific, it’s why I came back. I wasn’t worried about being here, I was no longer worried about being alone.
How does Holmwood Aged Care keep you connected to your family or loved ones?
I am lucky that I have fairly tech savvy myself, I have my own phone and can call and text people when I like. I also have family who live close by and visit regularly.
During times of COVID lockdown, I was supported from staff to have visits from my daughter at the fence so we could still see each other but be socially distanced. The lovely team have helped connect me to the Wi-Fi so that I can access the internet, make calls and send texts and emails.
Whenever I have visitors, the staff are always so lovely to them. All my visitors are always so pleased when they visit here because they can see that I am well looked after and happy.