As a home care provider, Happy Living understands the importance of an active social life for older adults and recognises that many clients may choose to stay in their house due to physical difficulties. However, having a long-term lifestyle like this can be detrimental to the mind and body of the elderly. Especially in the post-epidemic period, older adults should strive for a richer social life that includes participating in leisure activities, going out shopping, visiting healthcare professionals regularly, engaging in social activities and meeting friends for socialising. Home Care Packages can cover a significant portion of the cost of carer services as well as some transportation expenses, enabling older adults to lead a more active and fulfilling lifestyle.
Why an active social life is essential for older adults?
- Reduces the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease: Research has shown that participating in social activities helps maintain mental sharpness as individuals age. Regular social interaction keeps the brain active and may help prevent the development of conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. A study conducted by the University of London found that individuals who met with friends almost every day at the age of 60 had a 12% lower risk of developing dementia compared to those who met with friends less frequently.
- Fights depression and stress: Maintaining a social network where individuals can share their feelings, concerns and laughter with others is crucial for emotional well-being. Regular contact with others can help combat feelings of depression and stress, improving overall emotional health. Older adults are prone to isolation, especially if they have limited mobility or have experienced the loss of a spouse, friend or neighbour. Maintaining social connections can prevent depression and other emotional or psychiatric problems that can impact their health.
- Supports better physical health: Engaging in social activities and going out with friends can benefit overall physical health. Being physically active and participating in social interactions can reduce the risk of conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
How the Home Care Package supports social activities?
- Short-term visits from caregivers at home: Caregivers can provide companionship and engage in conversations to alleviate loneliness. They can also assist with using electronic devices for communication with family and friends.
- Outing assistance: Caregivers can accompany older adults on shopping trips or other appointments, providing guidance and support. They can help carry items and facilitate communication in public spaces.
- Transportation arrangements: Care assistants can arrange transportation for social activities, including booking taxi services and coordinating travel plans for public transport. If needed, a paramedic can accompany older adults on public transport.
- Phone-based social companionship: For those concerned about the COVID-19, home care services can provide regular phone calls to offer companionship and address any questions or concerns.
- Reimbursement for community-based activities: Home Care Packages can cover the costs associated with participating in community-based activities such as social events, day centers or specific classes.
How does the Home Age Pension support transport?
In addition to Home Care Packages, Home Age Pension Services can provide transportation support for older adults. This includes:
- Taxi services: Older adults can use regular taxis for activities like shopping or medical appointments and seek reimbursement through the Home Age Pension.
- Public transport: Home Care Packages can reimburse the costs of recharging transport cards (e.g., Myki card in Melbourne or Opal card in Sydney) within a reasonable limit. This helps older adults access public transportation for their social and daily needs.
Happy Living offers home care options tailored to your needs. Do you need home care support? Please find our free information kit.
To apply for a Home Care Package, please visit My Aged Care.