It may be no surprise that 12% of over 65s say they never spend time with their family. This is in stark contrast to younger groups, where 65% say they see their family regularly. Over half of the elderly parents in the UK say that their pets or television is their main source of company each day. Over 2.4 million elderly people say they have no one to turn to for help.
These statistics are evidence of a major shift in UK demographic in recent decades.
It’s interesting to see how family dynamics have shifted significantly in the last 30 years. Increased property prices and the popularity of University education has resulted in children very often setting up roots a considerable distance from their parents. Additionally, when you factor an increase life expectancy, many elderly parents now live on their own with no family in the vicinity.
Grown children of elderly parents are therefore presented with a real dilemma in their parents later years. They are aware their elderly parents may require assistance with day to day tasks and often feel guilty they live so far away. Their parents health and wellbeing is also a major priority and yet very often the distance between both makes this extremely difficult. The feelings of one grown child who said “I feel like Im being split in half” is no doubt echoed around the UK.
For many its just not possible to see their parents daily or even weekly or monthly. However, there are various practical things that can be put in place to increase the contact between elderly parents and their grown children and to care for their day to day well being. Here are just 2 suggestions:
1. Use Skype or Facetime with Elderly Parents
Both technologies are simple to use and can be installed on any pc or tablet. This can drastically reduce the feelings of loneliness for the elderly parent. Studies show that this could reduce the onset of Alzheimer’s and other medical conditions. These technologies can also be used to remind them of the need to take medication or attend GP appointments.
2. Install a Careline Alarm
A simple emergency alarm that’s connected to a 24/4 careline team ensures your elderly parents will receive immediate help even if you are at the other end of the world. You will be contacted in the event of a situation.
Caring for elderly parents is a complex issue. Every family has different circumstances to deal with. But making use of modern technology is one way to lessen their sense of loneliness and ensure they still feel part of the family.