companion care

Companion Care: How It Can Help Your Loved One Overcome Loneliness

Think about the last time you got to spend a few hours with a friend doing something that interests you together. It probably brings back feelings of joy and happiness because your social and emotional needs were being met. Now think about your senior loved one and how they don’t get to do that as often, if at all, due to a myriad of reasons. This could be due to medical problems, physical mobility limitations, or an inability to drive. No matter what the reason, social interaction is something that is just as necessary as medical care or assisting with activities of daily living (ADLs) and can be provided through companion care. 

Oftentimes, when people think of in-home care, they think of things like showering/bathing, assisting with dressing, and safety monitoring. When your loved one is getting only this type of care, their emotional well-being may be overlooked. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that companion care is provided as well. 

What is Companion Care?

Companion care is great for seniors who suffer from social isolation as it provides companionship from a friendly face to improve their overall quality of life. 

Companion care services often vary for each care agency. In general, companion care may include such services as:

  • Light housekeeping
  • Planning menus and preparing meals
  • Washing the dishes
  • Helping with laundry
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Sorting mail together
  • Providing rides and accompaniment while shopping
  • Accompanying during doctor appointments
  • Assisting with pet care
  • Participating in hobbies
  • Helping with technology, such as getting email, visiting websites, and staying in touch with family members through text messages or video communications

When these services are provided, a bond is formed between the caregiver and the senior that is mutually beneficial. Oftentimes, stories and wisdom are shared by the senior that greatly impact the caregiver. Providing companionship to seniors not only helps them accomplish things around their homes and keeps them active with hobbies, but it can also dramatically improve their mental state.  

The Effects of Loneliness and How Companion Care Helps

A report curated by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) shows that more than one-third of adults that are aged 45 or older feel lonely and one-fourth of adults aged 65 and older are considered to be socially isolated. This age group is more at risk for being socially isolated because they are more likely to have children who have moved out of the house, a spouse that has passed, and a family that is geographically distant. 

According to the same report, those who are socially isolated are:

  • 50% more likely to develop dementia.
  • More likely to be depressed, anxious, and even suicidal.
  • 32% more likely to have a stroke.
  • More likely to have heart failure that results in death (4x more likely), hospitalization (68% more likely), or an emergency room visit (57% more likely).
  • Likely to pass prematurely at rates higher than those who pass prematurely from smoking, obesity, and being stationary. 

Need we say more about the importance of companion care? Companion care adds someone to their network of friends and helps them feel accomplished around the house, less dependent, and more able to get out and about – all things that directly combat loneliness. If you’re ready to talk about other benefits of companion care as it relates specifically to your loved one, contact us

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