How loneliness helpline received record breaking calls for help

What really makes us happiest in life? Some may point to fabulous fame and fortune. Yet hands down, surveys show that friends and family are the real prizes. Even though our need to connect is innate, some of us always go home or stay home alone.

Now let’s imagine a 65-year-old woman who sees her physician frequently for a variety of aches and pains. She might complain of back pain on one visit, headaches another time, and feeling weak on the next. Each time, her physician does a physical exam and runs the appropriate tests, without finding anything to account for her symptoms. Each time, she leaves the office feeling frustrated that “nothing can be done” for what ails her.

However, if we examined more closely, we’d find out that this patient lost her husband five years earlier and has been living alone since. Her children all live in other states. Although she dotes on her grandchildren, she sees them only about once a year. She has a few friends that she only sees occasionally. If asked, she would probably tell you that, yes, she is lonely. Research shows that people who feel lonely have more health problems, feel worse and perhaps die at an earlier age.

In 2015, researchers from Brigham Young University looked at multiple studies on loneliness and also isolation. Their results from several hundred thousand people revealed that social isolation resulted in a 50 per cent increase in premature death.

Loneliness and social isolation are also associated with increased blood pressure, higher cholesterol levels, depression and, if that weren’t bad enough, decreases in cognitive abilities and Alzheimer’s disease.

The good news is that there are several initiatives poised to eradicate completely isolation and loneliness. A helpline supporting lonely and isolated older people received one call every minute in March, making it the busiest month since its launch in November 2013. This also points to the massive increase in isolation and loneliness. The good news again is that people are now more aware and also seeking necessary help.

You can also read: Carers need mandatory LGBT training

Silver Line took an amazing record 48,000 calls in March alone, a 24 per cent increase on the same month in the previous year, with the cold weather and Easter weekend partly to blame.

The number of incoming calls continued to rise in April, with 80 per cent of callers calling for the first time.

Sophie Andrews, Silver Line’s chief executive, said: “We know that for our callers, bank holidays throughout the year seem interminably long and lonely – they often describe them as a month of Sundays’; and when combined with holiday occasions traditionally focused on celebrating with loved ones, it can be even more challenging for them.

“We also frequently heard from those calling between Good Friday and Easter Monday that their family and friends had gone away for the long weekend, leaving them home alone.

“More generally, however, these figures underline what we hear from older people phoning us every day: that loneliness isn’t just for Christmas – it is their reality all year round.”

Loneliness is a big deal that must be dealt with accordingly. At Whitecrest Care we are aware of this looming challenge, and we have positioned ourselves to always be a solution to problems associated with caregiving. With our befriending and companionship services then we would be able to support people who are lonely. Give us a call today for more enquiries.

We move mountains for you.


I book home care for my mum online

How lovely it would be if you don’t have to wait weeks to see your GP, followed by another long wait for medical test results? Imagine picking up your device and right on your mobile device or any other chosen device and you are able to book a care provider for yourself or any loved one? This is what much more technology has to offer in the healthcare sector.

We are acquainted with the changing demographic trends, and we are not ignorant of the emergence of an ageing population and rapid increase in chronic illnesses – this is creating a huge demand for health care and social services. Again this has brought a great challenge given the sophistication of 21st-century technology.

Technology has played a huge role in changing our lives and making life easier, the same trends obviously should appear at a distance in the healthcare sector. An efficient healthcare system of the future should empower medical practitioners and patients.

We are glad improvements are seen along this trend. According to a news published on BBC, we saw a story of Louisa Bravery ‘I book home care for my mum online’ is a clear point that care providers are in touch with digital trends.

According to Louisa: She needs a little personal care when other members of the family are out at school or work.

Louisa wasn’t sure how to go about things but discovered she could book her mother’s care using an online service.

That makes it a lot easier to plan care flexibly depending on when Peggy might be needing a carer.

“I just log in via the internet using my phone and just select the number of hours and the day and the time I want the carer to come. It’s really quick and also the payment’s all done online,” Louisa says.

At whitecrest Care Services, we identify with this trend. As an agency regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), we have made it an obligation to take advantage of technology to provide quality healthcare to everyone at all times.

New technology keeps emerging and harnessed likewise both for booking carers and also facilitating remote monitoring of the elderly, so reducing the need to visit homes every now and then.

We have seen technologies like personal alarms, GPS tracking devices and movement sensors for 24 hours monitoring, tablet computers and video conferencing to keep in touch with carers, music reminders and a whole lot more.

Graham Allen, Hampshire’s director of adults’ health and care, says there have been a massive savings of £4.7m over the period of three years because of fewer visits by carers, thanks to the use of technology.

“Crucially, it’s freed up formal care time, doing those tasks that only human beings can deliver to other humans. So it’s a win-win,” he says.

No doubt, technology has come to stay, and it would be right to expect even more developments in the nearest future. At whitecrest Care, we are committed to following technological trends and deploying them in the cause of our services.

We are proud to say; that we move mountains for you.


Carers ‘need mandatory LGBT training’

According to a YouGov research, there are an estimated 1 million LGBT people over the age of 55 in the United Kingdom. They are very much more likely than their heterosexual peers to be single and live alone, and also less likely to have children or see family members hover around them.

They are also twice unlikely to rely on health and social care services and paid help.

The CQC, known to regulate the industry activities, stated that care workers were expected to have a care certificate, but there was no mandatory training in the industry.

The government has also stated that making “carer training” mandatory was not possible as care providers were private employers.

According to news published on BBC, one man told the Victoria Derbyshire programme that: Discrimination is “alive and kicking,” with many older people fearing abuse from care workers.

As published on the BBC website, Paul Webley, a coordinator at Opening Doors London says older people are right to be concerned. He said:

“I absolutely know that homophobia is alive and kicking in the care industry.

“I’ve met many people who tell me stories of carers who, when they realise they’re a gay woman or a gay man, don’t want to be washing them.”

Research carried out by LGBT rights charity Stonewall in 2011 found that half of those surveyed would not feel comfortable being “out” to care home staff and one in three would not be comfortable being out to hospital staff, a paid carer, social workers or to their housing provider.

Stonewall’s campaign director Paul Twocock said a one-size-fits-all approach to equality and diversity had created gaps in how LGBT patients of all ages were cared for.

“Health and social care staff need better equality and diversity training to understand and meet the needs of all LGBT patients and service users, including older people,” he said.

It is difficult to get official figures on the scale of the issue as the main regulatory bodies – the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman and the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman – both said they did not record complaints specifically concerning homophobia.

At whitecrest Care, it has become evident to us, that we have a good number of LGBT living in the UK, it is very true to admit that they deserve care and the very best of it. We say NO to every form of discrimination, especially against the LGBT.

In response to this menace, we are proud to offer all required and necessary training to caregivers who would work with us, so as to provide care with a touch of excellence to everyone at all times.

Detailed information about the training and upcoming with be made available on our website soon, so keep a regular visit and you would not miss out on current updates.

We move mountains for you….