October 28, 2019
Companion care is a unique form of long-term care, focused on providing the elderly with emotional support and friendship, as well as practical help with everyday activities. It is a popular form of care for older adults who want to age in place in the comfort and safety of home, while remaining independent and socially active.
The Value of Friendship
Friendship is one of the most important and valuable things in life, for people of all ages – and this is especially true for older adults. However, over time, it can be more difficult for seniors to remain connected with others, due to any number of circumstances. In some cases, the physical and mental changes that come along with aging can make it more challenging for older adults to go out and see their friends and family. In other cases, seniors might become more isolated as their friends or long-time neighbors move away, or experience lifestyle changes of their own.
Companion care comes from the idea that no one should ever have to feel like they’re all alone!
Loneliness and social isolation are real problems for elderly people in this country. As the AARP has noted, more than 42 million Americans “identify as being lonely.” One recent survey of adults aged 50 to 80 found that “one in four [people] said they feel isolated from other people at least some of the time, and one in three say they don’t have regular companionship.”
Over time, feeling isolated or withdrawn can have a serious impact on seniors’ health, well-being, and quality of life. Loneliness can lead to stress, and contribute to serious conditions like anxiety disorders or depression. It can also lead to physical health effects, like an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and higher rates of chronic illness. Feeling lonely can also have a ripple effect, and may cause seniors to eat less, give up on hobbies, or neglect other aspects of their health.
On the flip side? Seniors who are able to remain socially active and connected report feeling healthier and happier! Studies have shown that staying social can lead to lower rates of chronic illness, better physical health, and improved mental health, including increased self esteem. Older adults who build new friendships over time also experience lower rates of dementia and increased longevity, and tend to adopt better health habits overall.
What Is Companion Care?
Companion care is a powerful, flexible, and affordable way to help the senior in your life enjoy the benefits of true friendship.
Companion care is all about recognizing the importance of helping seniors to nurture meaningful relationships and connect with their community, while living an active and enriched lifestyle.
A senior companion offers invaluable friendship and emotional support for the elderly. A companion is a friend, a confidant, and an ally, someone who can always be there to play games, share meals, go on outings, swap stories, take a walk around the block, or simply sit with the senior to listen to music or watch a beloved film.
In addition to this fulfilling and empowering friendship, a senior companion can provide any number of services designed to help the senior live comfortably and safely, including:
- Assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs). A companion can help provide physical support for the senior, assisting them with sitting and standing, walking around, or lying down.
- Help with bathing, grooming, and hygiene. Over time, many older adults can find it more difficult to take care of themselves without a little bit of help. A companion can help step in and provide assistance when it’s needed, without any judgment.
- Transportation services. A senior companion can help provide rides to doctor’s appointments, social events, religious services, and more, while also helping the senior run errands, go grocery shopping, and even plan fun outings. For seniors who may not be able to drive any longer, having reliable transportation can be transformative, empowering them to remain connected with their community, while being supported at every step of the way by a friendly driver they know and trust.
- Help with housekeeping and laundry. A companion can provide light housekeeping and laundry services, so that the senior can always reside in an environment that is comfortable, clean, and safe.
- Assistance with shopping, preparing, and serving meals. Food is a deeply meaningful thing, and a cornerstone of good health. Unfortunately, many older adults face challenges with shopping, cooking, and eating nutritious meals. A senior companion can hop in and help at every step, from menu planning, to grocery shopping, to meal preparation. They can also dine alongside the senior, so mealtimes become a moment to relax, share stories, and enjoy pleasant company.
- Medication and exercise reminders. While senior companionship is a type of non-medical care, a companion can help keep an eye on the senior, and check to see if they’re keeping up with their medicine and exercise regimens. When it comes to exercising, a companion can also provide support and encouragement, to help motivate the older adult to remain active in a safe and healthy way.
In short? Companion care can help a senior stay active and social, while making sure that their essential needs are met. It’s a great fit for fairly healthy seniors who need a bit of personalized attention and social support, and for seniors who could use regular assistance above and beyond what a family caregiver can provide.
In addition to helping seniors live more enriched, fulfilled, and independent lives, companion care also offers numerous benefits to family caregivers. Companion care can help give Sandwich Generation caregivers more time to focus on work or family; it’s also a great solution for any family caregiver who needs the occasional chance to step back and get some much-needed respite, or focus on their own health and well-being. Companion care can also help out family caregivers who may live a significant distance away from their senior loved one; a companion can also step in and provide care in situations or environments where you may not be able to, such as in a hospital or rehab facility.
Want to Learn More About Companion Care in Chicago? Companions for Seniors Is Here to Help
Do you have a senior loved one who could benefit from some extra help around the house – or even a little bit of company and companionship? Our experienced, professional companions would love to step in and help!
Our companions are here to help make sure your elderly loved ones are getting the social interactions and support they need, without having to leave the comfort of their homes or finding a way to pay for expensive, institutional care.
At Companions for Seniors, our mission is to help seniors live independently and with dignity in the safety of their own home. We’re locally owned in the Chicago area, with clients in the city and suburbs.
Our companions are trained and bonded, and can help provide a variety of services designed to help your loved one remain in the comfort of their own home, while ensuring that their needs are met. Our companions are available on a full- or part-time basis, and can offer driving services in the comfort of a company car.
Our services are flexible, convenient, and it’s easy to get started. Companions for Seniors provides a free in-home assessment of your senior family’s current situation, and in most cases we can be up and running in just a few days.
We understand that every situation is unique, so we provide a personalized care plan that’s modified to meet each client’s specific needs. As a client’s situation changes, so does our plan of care.
Have any more questions about all things home care? Ready to get help for your loved one? Don’t hesitate to reach out online today to get the conversation started, or give us a call at 866-910-9020.