Have you recently noticed sudden, troubling swings in your elderly loved one’s mood, temperament, and well-being? Though unexpected behavioral changes are common in seniors, these abrupt fluctuations can sometimes result from the adverse effects of loneliness, isolation, or boredom.
Companion care can help.
Professional non-medical caregivers can boost your senior’s attitude and mental state of mind—and benefit you as well.
Companion caregiving is a popular service for seniors and disabled adults who need socialization and interaction but do not require advanced assistance. Professional home care services help them age in place, maintain their independence, and give you much-needed confidence they are receiving safe, compassionate care.
What Is Companion Care?
Companion care provides emotional and physical assistance for seniors and disabled adults to help them feel secure and content in the comfort of their homes. Socialization and companionship can help decrease anxiety, depression, and feelings of isolation.
A Visiting Angels’ senior care provider can improve the quality of life for your loved one in many ways by acting as a trusted friend during your loved one’s favorite hobbies and activities, accompanying them to appointments and social outings, and providing pleasant conversation. These activities can serve as a lifeline for your loved one, especially if they are secluded due to health or mobility concerns or have no nearby friends or relatives.
How Can Social Isolation and Loneliness Affect Seniors?
Reports show social isolation can dramatically increase the risk of health complications and mortality in seniors. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that loneliness and social isolation are associated with the following:
- A 50 percent increase in the risk of dementia
- Higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide
- An increased risk of premature death, physical health problems, and hospitalization
Seniors may be at a higher risk of social isolation or loneliness if they experience conditions and circumstances including:
- Death of close family members, especially a spouse
- Family and friends who do not live nearby
- Hearing or vision loss
- Problems with mobility
- Chronic or serious health conditions that limit their ability to leave home
- Inability to drive
- Lower socioeconomic status
How Does Companion Care Help Older Adults?
Elderly companion care provides seniors with social interaction and regular camaraderie — ending the cycle of chronic isolation – to reduce the risk of mental and physical health issues.
Visiting Angels will provide a bright spot in your older loved one’s day or week that they will eagerly look forward to and anticipate. For example, a compassionate caregiver can be at your loved one’s side conversing over a cup of coffee, playing a board game, completing a puzzle, watching a favorite TV show, and more.
Visiting Angels can also help you.
Supporting an older loved one while also balancing your own obligations and responsibilities can be an emotional and logistical challenge. Companion home care services can fill in the gaps when you cannot be with them due to personal, professional, and family commitments.
Further, Visiting Angels can provide you peace of mind knowing your senior is getting the socialization they need to enhance their attitude and spirit from a dependable and trustworthy caregiver.
Companion Caregiving vs. Personal Caregiving
When choosing professional care for an elderly loved one, you may decide at-home assistance is a better option than a nursing home or assisted living facility. You will then need to decide between “companion care” and “personal care.”
With companion care, duties typically include activities focused on socialization, such as conversation and personal interaction, in and outside the home.
Personal care, on the other hand, covers the primary duties of companion care, while also providing physical support with daily activities, including dressing, bathing, toileting, light housekeeping, laundry, grocery shopping, or meal preparation. Personal care can also include non-medical assistance for chronic health conditions such as diabetes or Parkinson's.
Most seniors can age in place comfortably with companion caregiving. However, seniors who require advanced support or physical assistance may need personal care to live at home safely.
Elderly Companion Care - Get Started!
Your local Visiting Angels office makes it easy to get started with home care.
A friendly coordinator will schedule a free care consultation with you and your loved one. The coordinator will customize a schedule and home care plan based on your loved one's unique needs and preferences.
Visiting Angels will identify the ideal companion through its Select Your Caregiver® program that ensures you find the perfect caregiver for your loved one and the entire family.
Ready to get started with companion care?
Find your nearest Visiting Angels' home care agency today or CONTACT US to learn more about our services!