Elderly Companion Care – A Solution for Senior Isolation and Loneliness During the Pandemic
As seniors leave their homes less frequently, they may experience feelings of loneliness and isolation, which have a negative impact on their mental well-being and pose serious consequences for their physical health, which is exacerbated by the social distancing requirements of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a recent study published in The Journal of Primary Prevention, senior isolation can result in detrimental health effects in elderly adults. From increased risk for all-cause mortality to dementia to a greater likelihood of suffering a dangerous fall, these impacts are much more severe than many people realize. That’s why it’s so important to understand what steps you can take to help prevent senior isolation from affecting your loved one.
Here are a few ways you and a professional home care provider can help a loved one avoid the circumstances that result in senior isolation.
Manage Incontinence Issues
When seniors coping with incontinence are required to leave their home for appointments and other excursions, some methods can make incontinence manageable outside of the house, including medications and access to appropriate supplies.
If incontinence is an issue for your loved one, do your best to show them that this doesn’t have to be embarrassing and shouldn’t prevent them from living their best lives. Consulting with their physician is also crucial as incontinence could be a sign of underlying health issues.
Test Hearing and Vision
When hearing and vision issues go undiagnosed and untreated, social situations become less enjoyable for elderly adults. Encourage your loved one to have their hearing and vision checked yearly, so they can fully engage in and enjoy conversation without becoming distracted.
Increase Access to Transportation
For many elderly adults, driving is not an option, and public transportation can be unsafe, uncomfortable, or inconvenient if they are dealing with mobility or memory issues. Without a means of getting around, these individuals often end up stuck at home even when they have a scheduled appointment or shopping needs.
Setting up a family-wide rideshare system can help ensure your loved one has frequent and reliable transportation and enables them to maintain a greater degree of independence. If this isn’t an option, you can always turn to a home care agency such as Visiting Angels Newton/Canton. Our in-home caregivers are ready to offer transportation for running errands, attending doctors’ appointments, and participating in social events.
Make Mealtimes Social
Dining with others is part of the human experience. Shared mealtimes help seniors feel connected and give them a scheduled event to look forward to each week. Seniors have traditionally enjoyed mealtimes at a family member’s home, with a church community, or with a friend or group at a local restaurant. With social distancing in place in most communities, there are many creative ways to plan zoom events where your loved one can stay safely at home and join a group for a remote meal.
A senior helper can also step in to help your loved one prepare meals at home and share these moments with them in a friendly atmosphere. Visiting Angels’ caregivers can prepare meals and snacks according to their client’s dietary needs and easily manage post-meal clean-up, all while maintaining a cheerful conversation.
Engage in Meaningful Conversation
Sometimes people just need to be heard, and seniors are no exception. However, many elderly adults lack a consistent conversation partner. As a family caregiver, it’s important to remember your loved one may simply want to talk and, at times, need a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on.
If you’re busy managing your loved one’s care needs while also juggling your professional commitments and personal priorities, you may worry about your loved one’s state of mind. Although you want to be there for them as much as possible, you don’t always have the emotional bandwidth to be the patient companion they need. You may consider hiring someone to sit with your elderly loved one.
Connecting them with a home health aide from Visiting Angels Newton/Canton is a great way to ensure they can rely on someone to turn to for social and emotional support. As part of our care philosophy, we tend to the needs of the whole person. We understand how important it is for seniors to avoid isolation at all costs. We’re eager to provide the compassionate care and stimulating conversation they require to maintain their quality of life throughout the aging process.
Getting Started With Elderly Companion Care Services
Elderly companion care service from Visiting Angels Newton/Canton not only provides joyful companionship with meaningful conversation and shared activities with your senior, but we can also offer transportation to and from their doctor’s office as well as taking physician notes to share with family, and help with grocery shopping and meal preparation.
Your senior loved one may only need standby assistance or require more hands-on care. You can schedule services to hours that best meet your family’s needs. We are flexible in designing a full- or part-time care plan that suits your senior’s requirements.
When contracting companion care services, consider the following elements as part of the agreement:
- Date/Time Period: When do you want the caregiver to start providing services? How many hours per week, and what days do you want services? Do you need care for a limited time when you are away on vacation or business trips?
- Services: What specific services do you need? Are you looking for someone to be a sitter for your elderly loved one who also provides friendly conversation? If it includes meal preparation, what elements are included, such as making and serving foods, providing meal companionship, feeding assistance, and cleaning up? Be specific, and don’t assume the caregiver will know what you expect.
- Companion Care Cost: How much would you pay hourly for companion care? Will you provide overtime pay for holidays and weekends?
The elderly companion care from Visiting Angels Newton/Canton is provided by compassionate senior care providers. Our agency has an intensive interview process to screen potential caregivers and choose the best professionals for our agency. Our caregivers have all completed a thorough background check and have a proven commitment to helping others.
Providing Safe, High-Quality Care the Elderly Deserve
Our priority remains the health and safety of its caregivers and the elderly clients they serve every day. As an award-winning home care agency in Greater Boston, Visiting Angels Newton/Canton follows and adheres to the latest health and safety guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Despite the challenges associated with COVID-19, in-home caregivers fulfill Visiting Angels’ mission of partnering with families to provide essential at home living assistance for older adults.
Visiting Angels’ in-home caregivers continue to be homecare heroes on the frontlines, taking necessary steps to protect elderly loved ones and themselves and doing whatever it takes to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
If you have a loved one who could benefit from elderly companion care at home, call Visiting Angels Newton/Canton today to schedule a free in-home consultation. A care manager will work with you to choose the best fit for your family member and you.