You may not be aware, but this week has marked Loneliness Awareness week. We all know what it has felt like to be alone during the lockdowns of the pandemic or at the very least have been concerned about a loved one who was on their own during those dark days but to be lonely as the norm is very different.
We all need social connection and to live without this is not only harmful to mental health but it has been established it can affect physical health too. At PLG we know that people with a disability can very often feel alone and the fear of loved ones being left on their own without the ability to engage with others in the future is often felt by parents or relatives of those who are being cared for.
Marmalade Trust is the UK’s leading loneliness charity offering support for all ages and the only charity in the world specifically dedicated to raising awareness of loneliness #ThatLonelyFeeling.
When we design a property our team of architects and experts ensure that our clients’ needs are always taken into account and while that might mean a spacious easily accessible living area, state of the art wet room and adapted kitchen, it also means that there is space and accommodation to allow for family and friends to come and stay. Because we know that ordinary accommodation will simply not be sufficient to allow for this. More often than not it is too small to accommodate family and equipment let alone the ability to have friends over to stay. But this aspect is so very important for our clients’ well-being and ability to engage in normal social activity.
We like to ensure that we adapt kitchen and living spaces so that our clients can entertain friends. And for our younger clients we like to ensure that there is space for their friends to come over for a sleepover or simply to share some fun in the hydrotherapy pool or a therapy room that can double up as a playroom where a tv and/or a PlayStation have just as much importance as an expensive bit of rehabilitation equipment. And we know that sometimes friends who visit may also have their own disabilities so we make sure there is space to accommodate them too.
We look to design for now, when family may still be living with our clients, and into the future when they may be more on their own. But our design means that they may never be lonely as they have the space and ability to always ensure that others can come and visit and stay. We know how important Loneliness Awareness week is and we want to make sure that our clients, while they may at times wish to be alone and have space to do this, they also have enough space to ensure that the chances of being lonely are as reduced as they can be.
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