Day Care: Loneliness can be a Killer too

Day care centres are under attack. They are viewed by some local authorities as an outdated, expensive form of care. But the people who attend our day care in Lewisham and Southwark, and their carers, tell me they love it, they are happier, it improves their quality of life and their carers are able to have a break and / or continue working.

For myself, I know that I subsist on toast and other comfort foods when I eat alone. I also know that I get bored and boring very quickly if I don’t have anything outside the house to talk about.

I’ve heard it said that homecare services provide friendship and company and certainly our own homecare workers try to do this and have very good relationships with their Service Users. But time and cost constraints mean they are in and out of people’s homes in a short space of time with a number of critical tasks to complete in the time allocated. 

Even with personalised care, time costs money and social interaction takes time. Having your meal on wheels delivered may be a good checking system to make sure you have not fallen but it is not a substitute for company and conversation.

Local authorities need to recognise the vital role day care centres play in improving quality of life.  Loneliness can be a killer too.

Brenda Bond

Hi, I'm Brenda, previously Chief Executive of Age Concern Lewisham and Southwark (ACLS) and now carrying out a 6 month research and development project for the organisation. I have a childcare and nursing background plus too many years to mention in Age Concerns in the North East and in London. I'm a trustee of Age UK London and represent ACLS and the voluntary sector on various local fora. I'm interested in health and social care issues, human rights and social justice.

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5 thoughts on “Day Care: Loneliness can be a Killer too

  1. I totally agree with the importance of Day Care to ensure people lead fullfilled and happy lives. When I first came to this country 20 years ago Day Care was unknown in germany and working in homecare there I was often the only human being that older person would see all week. Germany has spend the last 20 years catching up with the UK developing Day opportunties for older people and it breaks my heart to see the UK giving up all that expertise without a fight. Socialising and interacting with others is what makes us human and it is wrong to deny that opportunity to older people. In my view that will be the direct consequence of closing Day Care facilities.

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