In this month’s CORE Webinar, we have the special opportunity to learn from grandPad’s Chief Gerontologist, Dr. Kerry Burnight, Ph.D. In the June 7th session, Dr. Burnight spoke about loneliness and how addressing it can increase caregiver retention and client satisfaction.
Loneliness affects a senior’s well-being more than you know. It not only affects their emotional health, but their cognitive and physical health. A new study at UCLA shows that 43% of seniors identify as lonely. Those who are lonely are 26% more likely to die prematurely. Being chronically lonely has the same risk factor as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. So how do you combat loneliness?
Your clients need connection. The result of connection is empowerment and strength which is the greatest antidote to loneliness. There is nothing more beautiful than a senior who is living in an empowered situation and feeling connected to society and their family.
If you were to describe how to combat loneliness in one word it would be connection. However, it’s not enough to just say the word connection. You need to know how to apply it in your agency. Dr. Burnight created an acronym to help home care owners and families remember what their clients and family members need to be their best self. In this acronym, the first three letters—P, L, E—apply to a client’s family, while the last three letters—A, S, E—apply to a home care agency’s role.
P- Personal. Make the connection personal via phone calls or video calls.
L- Larger Society. It’s important that your clients are connected to a larger society—the news, family, the community.
E- Everlasting Connection. This is the connection to music, to nature and to pets.
A-Above All. Reminding your caregivers that later adult is not childhood and to put their client’s later adult hood above all.
S- Still There. Although a client may have cognitive impairment, they are still there and requiring connection. Caregivers need to interact with clients
E- Everyone. Everyone lucky enough to have loved ones, goes through this. It is important for seniors to know they are not alone. They are part of a
Overall your clients must have connection and their families must have guidance.
To learn more about senior loneliness and how it affects your home care agency, tune in for our next CORE Webinar on June 28th. Dr. Kerry Burnight will discuss in depth steps to combat senior loneliness and how it can improve caregiver retention. Sign up for our monthly newsletter to be the first to know about our CORE Webinars.