The last 12 months have had drastic effects on the nation’s mental health. A study conducted by Age UK showed that, since the start of the pandemic, 1 in 3 respondents said they felt less motivated to do the things they enjoy.
We have been bombarded with negative news stories and statistics, especially when it comes to older people. Whilst there’s no denying the horror of the pandemic, we also know that it has born many positives. The main one being the gift of time, which has enabled people to refocus priorities, rediscover and find new hobbies and reconnect with old friends and family.
We wanted to share some positive stories about older people and with the help of National Private Care Agency Helping Hands, found two wonderfully inspiring ladies who have been getting creative and inspiring others during lockdown.
Looking after the birds in lockdown
Joan Tams (91) has dementia and is cared for by Helping Hands in Stoke. She is passionate about her interests and thrives whenever she has the opportunity to share what she knows and loves.
Over the winter months she became nervous about whether the birds were able to get the food they need. So, Joan and her carer made fat balls for the birds to ensure that they got fed. It was a great project to get involved with and meant that Joan was able to help look after the local birdlife, thus putting her mind at ease.
But this wasn’t all. Joan is an avid knitter and has been sharing her love for the activity with others. Starting with her carer Sam, Joan started teaching her how to knit, helping her progress and create some stunning creations!
Helping Hands Branch manager Jennifer Flynn says: “We provide long companionship calls to Joan to ease her anxiety which increases when she is left alone. Joan has dementia and used to be a teacher. We find that if we engage with Joan in a topic that she has interests in she really thrives. For example, she has now taught two of her carers how to knit!”
Never too old to dance!
TikTok has become a major entertainment factor for many people during lockdown, and that’s no exception for June Buckle (91) who receives care from Helping Hands in Letchworth.
June loves to dance – she used to specialise in ballroom dancing. To combat the lockdown blues and lift her spirits up, her carers introduced her to Tik Tok and showed her the different dance trends that dominate the social platform. This has led to them replicating the dance routines together.
Helping Hands Care Coordinator Emily Bricknell said: “June loves having her carers come in to make her life a little easier. She has always enjoyed a good giggle with everyone so Beth and Amie thought it would be a great idea to practice their dancing moves together.”
It’s essential that we try and stay positive when we can, to make the pandemic just that little bit easier for everyone. Taking the time to embrace a new hobby – or rediscover a passion you once loved – is a great way to keep busy and stay positive.
*This content has been provided by Helping Hands
Helping Hands is a family-led home care provider with over 30 years’ experience. Whether you’re looking for 24-hour care or some extra support little and often, Helping Hands can arrange and manage home care that is completely unique to you and your situation.
We still have a few months to go until lockdown is fully behind us. If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration on how to keep busy, see our 50+ activities worth staying at home for.