You may have guessed some of the benefits of being social, such as lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk for depression, and even reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems. Yet, you may not have thought about the importance of social interaction for your elderly loved one.
When seniors are socially isolated, they may experience significant consequences, including loneliness, depression, and reduce physical activity. Each of these is linked to cognitive and functional decline. One study from the University of California San Francisco found loneliness could also result in early death for seniors who are older than 60.
What is Companion Care?
Companion care is a unique form of care for the elderly that provides them with emotional support, friendship, and practical help. It’s a popular way of helping older adults age in place at home while promoting Independence and social activity. Companion care services are non-medical and differ from those given by personal care aides or home health aides.
While home health aides can provide some of the same services, the goal of companion care is primarily socialization and support. However, companions can also help your loved one with many of the same services as a home health aide, including:
- Light housekeeping duties, such as vacuuming or picking up
- Household chores such as washing clothes and dishes
- Running errands
- Planning and scheduling appointments
- Meal preparation
- Communicating with family members
How Your Loved One Benefits
The development of companion care for the elderly and disabled was based on the idea that no one person should ever have to feel like they’re alone. In an AARP report titled “Loneliness is Lethal,” the group reported more than 42 million people in the U.S. identify as being lonely.
Loneliness and isolation can have a serious impact on health and quality of life. It can lead to stress and contribute to anxiety disorders or depression. Seniors who are able to remain socially active and connected to others feel happier and healthier. Staying social can also lower the rates of chronic illness and improve physical and mental health.
This is the goal of companion care which is a powerful and affordable way to help your loved one enjoy the later years in their life. People who provide companion care are special individuals who enjoy offering friendship and emotional support to senior citizens. They become a friend, ally, and confidant, creating a supportive and engaging environment for your loved one.
How Does It Work?
Companion care is offered on a consistent basis through a variety of organizations. Companions will typically regularly visit your loved one. The frequency will depend on and be customized to the senior’s unique needs. Companion care is usually offered at least once a week, and some may visit up to three times per week or even daily.
Schedules can vary depending on any appointments your loved one might have. For instance, if there is an appointment scheduled outside the usual hours of your companion visits, their schedule may be adjusted to accommodate the needs.
Explore Your Companion Care Options With Anodyne!
A companion for your elderly loved one can help make the difference between aging in the comfort of their home, or the need for a skilled nursing facility. If you would like to explore the options for your loved one, call our offices today. We’ll give you the information you need to make a decision for your family.