The 3 best schemes for emotional and physical support at home | Welbeing

In the UK, 3.6 million older people live alone — 2 million of those are aged 75+. We’ve spoken about the effects of isolation before, offering 6 strategies for coping with loneliness. But what about coping physically?

Alarmingly, research published by the Health Foundation found that people that are 65+ and live alone are 50% more likely to go to A&E than those who live with someone else.

Whether you’re feeling isolated and lonely, or physically struggling around the house, these are some of the best ways to access emotional and physical support at home.

Motivate a mate with GoodGym

Coach runs

Any runner that joins GoodGym is subject to a thorough background check and must provide references. Furthermore, they will need to complete an online training course before becoming verified; it’s very safe.

Mission runs

  • anything that requires a qualified professional, e.g. an electrician for electrical works.
  • Health related assignments; medical requirements should be referred to social services.
  • Food shopping or household care. These tasks should also be referred to social services.

GoodGym receives referrals for older people from community organisations that they partner with in each area. To find out who they partner with in your area, call GoodGym on 0203 432 3920.

Befriending services from Age UK

Call in Time

Unfortunately, this service might not be the right choice if you require a higher level of support. Individuals suffering from memory loss, dementia or mental health issues may find these calls difficult or distressing. However, Age UK does offer a range of services in your area that can help.

Call the team on 0800 434 6105 to sign up.

Face-to-face befriending

However, this is more than a bit of company and a cuppa. Regular, friendly contact can help you develop the confidence to socialise again. Meeting someone with shared interests will likely reignite a passion for hobbies you used to love — or help to find new ones. And — importantly — by going back out into the community, you might make some new friends as well.

People aged 75+ are eligible for the service (65+ if referred via the NHS). Contact your local Age UK to find out if they are offering befriending services.

Household help with Homeshare

As well as emotional support, this is a useful scheme if you’re looking for practical help around the house — and don’t mind sharing your space. The agreement is flexible and can include a variety of tasks like shopping, gardening, cleaning or support when visiting the doctor.

You can apply online and the process that follows is simple:

  • A Homeshare member will get in touch
  • They’ll then meet you to find out more about your requirements
  • The matching process begins
  • You’ll be paired with a suitable homesharer

It’s worth noting that you may have to pay a monthly administration fee to the Homeshare. This is to cover the cost of the service and the average is around £140 per month.

You can check the Homeshare website to see if there is a local scheme in your area. Alternatively, you can call the Homeshare team on 0151 227 3499.

Other useful services

Originally published at on April 24, 2019.

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