Background Loneliness and social isolation are different but related concepts. Social isolation can lead to loneliness and loneliness can lead to social isolation. They share many factors associated with increasing the likelihood of people experiencing deteriorating health, sensory and mobility impairments (Age UK, 2018).
Following embedding Herts Neighbours volunteer befriending home support, it was identified patients whose permanent place of residence was a nursing home (NH) were not accessing the service.
Aims Uphold our strategic aims and values ‘widening access’, ‘reaching more people’; ‘each person gets fair access to care’(Ambitions for palliative and end of life care, National Palliative and End of Life Care Partnership, 2015). Pilot agreed to extend existing model into local nursing home.
Methods February 2018 - Consultation: volunteers and nursing home staff to identify those participating. Volunteer agreement between both organisations. Criteria and consent for pilot inclusion agreed.
June 2018: five patients and three volunteers identified - 12 visits made
Pre– and post– feedback questionnaire;
Regular support for volunteers from hospice and identified links at nursing home;
Qualitative feedback from patients, family, staff.
Results Though the sample was small, improvements were identified:
Loneliness 83% positive impact;
Enjoyment of life 83% positive impact;
Quality of life 50% positive impact;
Specific examples received from family, staff.
Conclusion Evaluation of the pilot showed a positive impact and outcome on quality of life, wellbeing and feelings of loneliness. We learnt that applying the same volunteer coordinator assessment in line with pre-existing process would strengthen the referral and patient feedback completion. Feedback identified actions to improve access and support service. Phase 2 agreed intending to strengthen and reach more people in the future.
Future planning: Consider development of project in line with the outcome of Population Based Needs Assessment report completed 2019.
Project and outcome presented to Internal Governance, Trustee and volunteer groups. Continuing with the project is recommended.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.