Why companionship is important for people with learning disabilities
We all need friends. People with common interests or a similar history who can understand the way we look at the world. However, it’s not uncommon for adults with a learning disability to experience loneliness and isolation.
It can be difficult for them to make friends, partly because there are fewer situations where they can meet people they get on with. That’s where residential care and daycare can be instrumental. Let’s take a closer look at why companionship is important for people with learning disabilities.
Self-confidence and self-esteem
Feeling included and valued is an important part of life. For people with learning disabilities – and in particular people with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) – feeling like a valued member of the community is something that is often overlooked.
This can have a big impact on their self-confidence and self-esteem. Friends are important for helping people to see how great they are. Being respected and valued by our peers is an important part of feeling confident and enjoying life.
Seeing the world in a positive way
Sometimes a companion can help to see the world in a new or different way. Taking a walk outside alone, a person might be caught up in their own thoughts, but a companion might point out beautiful flowers or a funny-shaped cloud in the sky; small things that help with living in the moment and finding happiness and beauty in the world.
Laughter is very healing, but it’s hard to find things to laugh at when you’re alone. Having a companion to joke with and enjoy funny moments can make for a much happier life.
Learning new things
One of the biggest reasons that companionship is important for people with learning disabilities is that learning is more fun when we’re together.
Learning new skills is always going to be frustrating for someone with learning disabilities, but it helps if they’re not alone. To see that they’re not the only person struggling, and to laugh over mistakes, can make a big difference in the learning experience.
Effects on physical and mental health
Loneliness can have a big impact on physical and mental health. Communication problems for people with PMLD can lead to higher levels of loneliness, as just being placed in a social situation doesn’t necessarily mean feeling accepted or benefitting from it. People with PMLD are quite capable of forming relationships and communicating, even if it’s not in the way you’d expect.
Friendship can cause a chain reaction. Having friends makes people feel more valued and respected, which gives them the confidence to interact and take part in more social activities, which gives them the chance to make more friends.
Advantages of daycare and residential care
Living in a dedicated home like Halland House means people with learning disabilities get to be around others who understand their perspective on life. It’s an opportunity to make lasting friendships.
At Halland House, we’re like one big family of residents, daycare friends and staff. We have a friendly team who are there to provide companionship as well as care.
For people who live at home, attending daycare can be hugely beneficial. Taking part in activities alongside other people with learning disabilities is a great chance to make friends.
Visit our website https://hallandhouse.co.uk/ to find out more about our learning disabilities care home in Uckfield, East Sussex.