Importance of Support

It often happens that the support system of many elderly people shrinks. Family members move away or emigrate, close friends go elsewhere or pass away, and neighbours obviously change once one moves into a retirement village or care environment. Familiar surroundings like one’s church or favourite shops may change, driving a car may become difficult or impossible, and all of this often leads to feelings of loneliness, emptiness, or even abandonment. In turn, this could result in negativity or an attitude of “giving up”, at a time where mental and physical health and stimulation is so important to one’s general wellbeing.

This period of adjustment and change, which heralds a new season, is not easy. MHA understands the impact of these changes, and constantly seeks ways in which practical support can be offered to residents, in particular to those who are housebound or confined to the frail care environment. MHA staff and our professional counsellors provide physical and psychosocial support, friendship, a listening ear or simply pay regular visits to those who need company, or encouragement to embrace the new season.

The support role played by residents’ family members and close friends is equally essential, as is a clear communication link between residents, family, friends and MHA staff. Constructive criticism, input and feedback are encouraged.

© Methodist Homes Port Elizabeth 2016, Photographic copyright © Colin Urquhart, Karl du Preez, FLIPmedia