The survey by in-home care provider Home Instead Senior Care revealed that home is where the heart is for 98% of over-65s who would prefer to live independently in their own home, even if that means spending most of their day alone.
A poll of more than 2,000 over-65s by leading in-home care provider, Home Instead Senior Care, reveals that on average, over-65’s are spending 8 hours alone daily, whilst almost half (49%) of over 85’s face at least 10 hours per day alone. Regardless of these findings, most Brits would prefer to stay in their own home, citing the importance of feeling safe there (64%) and finding comfort in familiar surroundings (60%).
In fact, more than one in five (21%) claim leaving their home behind would be as traumatic as a bereavement; and over one in ten (11%) worry that their family would stop visiting them if they left their home.
Little wonder that 70% of Britons over-65 would prefer to stay in their home with a visiting carer, rather than move in with their family or into a care home. Of respondents with a carer, almost all (99%) claim they have had a positive impact on their life, with nearly half (46%) stating that it means they see a friend every day.
In most cases technology means they can maintain connections with the outside world. And true to this statement, over half (65%) are staying connected by reaching out to family or friends more than once a week, while 1 in 4 do so daily. However, resilient Brits do not want to put all the emotional support on their loved ones, with 93% say that “not being a burden” is important to them.
Yet the impact of regular companionship cannot be overstated. 9 in 10 Brits over-65 stated that having regular companionship helps older people say mentally and physically healthy for longer, with improvements to mood, energy levels and motivation all widely recognised as key benefits by half of respondents.
And it’s not just older people living alone who can benefit. It can be just as difficult having a partner with an age-related condition, with over half (53%) such respondents admitting it makes them feel more isolated.
When respondents with a carer were asked which benefits it has brought to their life, they stated that the assistance has helped them to stay living in their own home for longer (66%), while 57% said it’s allowed them to maintain their independence.
Home Instead CEO Martin Jones said: “They say an Englishman’s home is his castle, and our research has proved that to be true. No one should have to feel alone or forced to move out of their home.
Companionship is a powerful resource for a person’s wellbeing – it speaks for itself when almost half of those asked feel that their visiting carer means they are seeing a friend every day. As we age, and may lose the ability to do certain things that we once could, it’s important to offer positive reinforcements and support to allow a person to live as independently as they can.
Many of the people we support simply want company and conversation. We believe that in-home care can offer a fresh start, offering new opportunities and friendships. Most importantly it empowers our clients to live their way, in their own home.”