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There is an epidemic of loneliness in the US, with serious health consequences. And seniors are one of the hardest hit. So, what help is out there for seniors looking for companionship?
One in three adults between the ages of 50 and 80 feel lonely. There are many different reasons for this, from family living far away to physical or mental health issues. But no matter what the reason, there are negative consequences that can impact older adults’ health in different ways.
However, the good news is that there are ways to find companionship for seniors. Read on to learn about companionship for seniors and why it is so important.
What Is Companionship Care?
When people think about elderly care, they may think about personal care assistance, medical support, or even jump straight to nursing homes. However, there are many forms of senior care out there, and companionship care is one of them.
Companionship for seniors helps seniors in different ways, including:
- Provides support and friendship
- Offers assistance with everyday activities
- Supports caregivers as a form of respite
Despite the many tasks companions can help with, the main goal of companionship is to prevent or reduce loneliness for your loved one. It is a non-medical service that varies in frequency, depending on the type of companionship care and the senior’s needs.
Types of Companionship
There are different types of companionship help for seniors, including companionship sites for seniors, charities, and community groups. However, the primary form of companionship care is through in-home senior care providers.
Services can be informal or formal, depending on the provider and the needs of your loved one. While all in-home senior care provides a level of companionship, targeted companionship care goes the extra mile. The main focus of the care plan is on improving companionship for the senior, with tailored activities for their needs.
Not every senior is the same; how they will feel less lonely will vary significantly. Not all seniors want to join community groups or have help around the home.
Some seniors just want stimulating conversation and a friend. Whereas others may want help engaging in specific mentally stimulating activities or help with certain tasks.
And some seniors are looking for companionship, whereas others may initially be resistant. Sometimes, the carer wants respite or believes their loved one will benefit from companionship services. So, companionship approaches are tailored to the individual and their unique needs.
Benefits of Companionship Care
Companionship care offers many different benefits. It does not only reduce loneliness in seniors, but it helps reduce the risks associated with loneliness. Plus, most importantly, it can empower seniors.
Here are the top benefits of companionship for seniors.
Improve Physical and Mental Well-being
Did you know that a lack of social connection heightens health risks as much as having an alcohol use disorder or smoking 15 cigarettes a day?
Health risks include both mental health and physical health risks, which for seniors includes:
- Cognitive decline
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
Companionship help for seniors can help reduce these risks. There will be familiar faces visiting your loved one consistently. The carer builds a trustworthy relationship with them and provides them with the emotional support they need.
Everyone benefits from having someone who truly listens to them. However, companionship care also promotes mental well-being in different ways. For example, they can help keep the individual’s house tidy, help them get fresh air, and exercise.
Improves Independent Living
As people age, it can be harder to maintain the independence they desire. This reduces their quality of life, but it can also reduce their confidence. Many seniors do not want to disclose if they are struggling, especially if they worry about having to leave their homes for another care facility.
Companionship care can provide the confidence seniors need to feel comfortable in their homes once more. They have the support they need to feel empowered, safe, and maintain their independence. Studies have also found it can reduce the risk of admission to nursing homes and prolong independent living.
After all, seniors do not have to worry about completing tasks. Some companionship care also involves transportation services, so seniors can complete everyday tasks with ease, and not feel alone.
Carer Peace of Mind
Companionship care does not only benefit the senior. It can also provide the peace of mind carers and loved ones who live far away need.
You know that your loved one has company and is not alone in their home all day. Companionship care will monitor your loved one’s wellbeing and raise the alarm if they feel extra senior care services are needed.
It is also important for carers to support themselves and their own mental health needs. Companionship care can provide the respite carers need to spend time on self-care and other essential daily living tasks. You will not feel guilty about leaving your loved one alone and can focus on a much-needed break.
A Fulfilling Life
Companionship for seniors also helps them live a more fulfilling life. They are less isolated, have emotional support, and have the independence to enjoy their life to the fullest.
It could be by playing their favorite card game, going to the movies, or sharing nostalgic memories. Whatever their needs, it is about helping them maintain the quality of life they deserve.
And 90% of seniors want to age in place at their home. There are many reasons for this, but companionship care can help them achieve this.
Get Companionship for Seniors
Companionship for seniors is essential, but as a carer, you do not have to do it alone. There is professional senior care support out there to help. Staff have the experience and training to provide the companionship seniors need to live a fulfilling life.
Are you looking for help for seniors in Southwest Florida? Alternative Homemaking with a Heart is here to help. We provide companionship care and other elderly care services.
Contact us today to learn how we can help your loved one.