What is Elderly Companion Care and is it The Right Choice for Your Loved One?
When the time comes that your loved one needs some additional help and support during their aging years, it can feel overwhelming to decide what the best plan of care is. There are a lot of options, after all, and you want to make the right choice for you and your family.
We all need companionship, and even a helping hand every now and then. These needs are heightened as we age. Unfortunately, many seniors struggle with loneliness and isolation, which is linked to poor physical and emotional health.
As a loved one with your own busy schedule and life, you may be feeling anxious as you try to be the main source of companionship for your aging loved one.
Companion and personal care is the ideal option for elderly individuals who may live away from family or who have a family that’s busy with their own lives, which is certainly nothing to be ashamed of. But giving your loved one the services of companion care can be a lifeline for those who need a little extra help and a little more company. And you can find some relief and peace of mind that your loved one is being cared for and looked after.
In this article, we’re going to talk about what this type of care is, why it’s beneficial, and whether or not it’s a good choice for your family.
What is Elderly Companion Care?
Companion care is a type of care for seniors and those with a disability that offers care within their own homes. The care given is non-medical in nature. It’s easy to confuse companion care with home health care, but there are several important distinctions. Home health aides provide some of the same services as companion care professionals, but they may also help with other tasks like bathing, dressing, medication management, etc.
The primary goal of companion care is to provide emotional support and socialization. Essentially, companion care personnel can fill in for you and other family members who may not have the time or the means to dedicate the kind of attention and companionship your loved one needs for optimal health.
In addition to being a friend for your loved one, a companion care specialist may also help with the following:
- Assisting your loved one with light housekeeping duties, laundry, dishes, etc.
- Running errands such as going to the pharmacy or grocery store
- Meal preparation
- Providing socialization and entertainment
- Keeping in touch with family members and other personnel and providing updates
- Transportation to appointments and social events
- And more
We like to think of companion care as an extra family member who’s there for your loved one just as you are, by helping to fill in the gaps that you aren’t able to between your work, family, and social schedules.
How Does Companion Care Work?
Companion care can be both formal and informal. Some elderly adults have friends that casually drop in to check on them and help them with various tasks periodically. Formal companion care services are offered as a paid service from dedicated and trained individuals and can be a great option if you don’t live in the same city as your loved one or they don’t have anyone close by who has the time and ability to provide the extra care and attention they need.
Companion care specialists typically make regular visits to your loved one, which can vary in frequency based on their needs and level of care required. Usually, companions will visit at least on a weekly basis, sometimes stopping in two to three times per week or more. Companions will also base their schedule on your loved one’s appointments. For example, if your loved one has an appointment outside of their regularly scheduled visit, they will often adjust their schedule to be there for them.
What Are the Benefits of Companion Care?
There are so many benefits to companion care services that make life more manageable for older adults and their families, too. But the simple act of being a companion is perhaps the most important. Many elderly adults feel isolated and lonely. A companion is someone who comes to engage in conversation, take walks, play card games, and simply listen to your loved one. These acts alone can make a world of difference in an aging adult’s outlook on life and their health and well-being.
Additionally, most companion care specialists will transport elderly adults to their local senior center for activities, out for errands, or to engage in other socialization. They help aging adults to remain active, engaged and feeling as though they’re still part of a community.
Lastly, many older adults find it difficult to keep up with housework and meal planning, which can cause their quality of life to suffer. An elderly companion care specialist can help with these light tasks which can alleviate the stress and burden they may be feeling by their inability to do these tasks themselves.
Is Companion Care Right for Your Loved One?
The type of care that elderly individuals require differs based on a number of personal factors. If your loved one resides independently in their own home but struggles with loneliness and isolation or has trouble maintaining their everyday tasks, then companion care may be a good option.
Those who deal with a loss of mobility or even cognitive illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease can benefit from companion care, too. In fact, this type of care is often the first way that families of aging individuals seek help that allows their loved ones to remain comfortably in their own homes.
If you or other family members have full-time careers, families, and other obligations, it can be difficult to ensure that your loved one is getting the care that they need. Not to mention the weight you’re likely feeling because you’re unable to give them all the time and attention they need.
This can all be solved with the help of elderly companion care professionals. It’s a valuable benefit both for the elderly individual and their family. If your aging loved one could use some extra care, attention, and support during those times that you’re unable to be with them, then companion care may be a great option for you.