Loneliness and social isolation are unfortunately common experiences for many seniors who live alone and have become major public health concerns over the years as the global population of elderly people grows.
Research conducted by Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in 2018 suggests 13% of Australian seniors aged 65–69 experience loneliness, with those over 80 are more likely to be lonely than any other age group.
To address this issue, which became more acute during the pandemic, and to deliver better outcomes for residents, three aged-care organisations on the Central Coast — Adelene, Vietnam Veterans Keith Payne VC Hostel, and Central Coast Community Care Association — have amalgamated.
The new organisation, called Alino Living, set to officially launch in coming months, has been using a collaborative approach to help residents stay connected during the pandemic.
“There has been a growing trend for older Australians to remain in their own homes as they age, but the global pandemic saw a shift in this thinking,” said Alino Living Co-CEO Justin Dover.
“Residential aged care communities in fact offer positive benefits in terms of reducing isolation and deconditioning as residents are able to remain connected with those within their village community and have access to activities and support by way of technology,” he continued.
Across its four locations, Alino Living used technology to allow residents to remain connected with families and loved ones, in addition to ensuring its care residents had access to entertainment and activities that remain in line with health directives.
“Catching up with family or friends virtually improved mood and helped ensure our residents retained the ability to converse and socialise normally. Families utilised our Zoom and FaceTime sessions to check in with loved ones and our wonderful team of care staff are always on hand to maintain socialisation with residents and reported back to families accordingly,” Justin added.
We have certainly seen an increase in inquiries from families who have moved loved ones into residential aged care due to the pandemic, Dover said.
“The response has been that many have been unable to provide the same level of drop-in care to their homes as they could before COVID-19 and residential aged care ensures their family members are receiving 24/7 security and support within a residential community.
“For us in the sector, it has been a challenge on many fronts, but I can attest to the fact that having loved ones within an aged-care community ensures they are remaining connected, entertained and cared for by a team of trained professionals who are dedicated to ensuring residents continue to thrive,” Dover concluded.
Original content from Hospitals and Healthcare. Note: Content has been edited for style and length.
Nina Alvarez is a Content Producer for Healthcare Channel. Her interests include writing, particularly about the healthcare sector and the many ways it can improve to further benefit people from all walks of life.