Senior Response, the call centre for the elderly, revealed from the results of a survey looking at how 40 to 60 year olds care for their closest elderly relatives and their perceptions regarding loneliness and isolation in the ageing society. The bespoke research, which surveyed adults in the ‘sandwich generation’ (Sandwich generation is a term used for a generation of people who care for their aging parents while supporting their own children), revealed that whilst 90% of people are planning to contact their elderly relatives this Christmas, just under half (49%) will actually be seeing them in person.
The research also examined how the ‘sandwich generation’ felt about contacting their elderly relatives at Christmas, and found that 54% of people would feel guilty if they didn’t invite them to attend the family festivities. In addition to this, 28% of people simply do not know how many other people will contact their elderly relative on Christmas day and 11% of the respondents admitted that no one else would contact their elderly relative at all if they did not get in touch with them.
Mike Bingham, managing director of Senior Response comments:
“In our busy lives, it’s very easy to forget the thousands of older people who often go for days without seeing or speaking to anyone. This is bad enough on a normal day, but on a special occasion such as Christmas, it is especially disheartening. Our results are extremely concerning and paint a rather sad picture of Christmas. As the UK’s population rapidly ages, the issue of acute loneliness and social isolation are some of the biggest challenges facing our society – and it must be addressed. Loneliness and isolation is an enormous issue for people in later life in the UK and our figures clearly highlight this worrying issue. Certainly, contact with anyone, especially over Christmas, be it by phone or in person can make an enormous difference to the older generation. Many people have family members who could either make the calls themselves or if they do not have time, arrange or even pay someone else to do so.” Bingham concludes:“The elderly care industry must look at the hard facts and commit to making sure that the needs of the growing number of lonely, elderly individuals are met.”
Senior Response now run a Daily Call service, which has been designed to help time-poor families ensure that their elderly relatives are well and safe and have someone to talk to, in an effort to tackle the increasing problem of loneliness and isolation amongst the elderly. We think this is a fantastic idea. For more information you can visit the Senior Response website.