Do you ever wonder why your senior family member constantly asks you to visit? They long for social interaction. They feel lonely. Merriam-Webster defines companionship as “the fellowship existing among companions: company.”
The material being is only one aspect of eldercare. As our loved ones grow older, we tend to focus on their physical health. We sometimes forget they still need companionship to thrive.
Personal Care Versus Companionship
Let’s look at the differences between personal care and companionship care for our elder population. When we can’t provide the companionship our elders need, we might consider contacting local home care agencies to discuss their home care services. Some agencies offer companionship services as part of their non-medical care services.
When we think of home care, we often think of someone giving medication or helping with therapies. This kind of elder care falls into the category of personal care. That is only one of the many aspects of home care assistance available for our loved ones.
A companion provides conversation, interacts socially, and might help with minor tasks such as changing a light bulb or helping with dishes. Their primary job is to stave off loneliness. They also help ensure their charge maintains balance when moving about the house. Sometimes a companion will take their senior on outings.
Benefits of Companionship
We often take for granted that loneliness is just a fact of getting older. The truth is we still need companionship and socialization as we age. Interaction with other people is just as important to seniors as in any different stage of life, perhaps more important.
Companionship fosters better physical health, better mental health, and a better quality of life. Seniors who spend all their time alone can face depression or suicidal feelings. Having a companion gives them someone to talk to about emotions, daily trials, and events happening around them.
When a senior is alone, they can feel that no one cares that they exist. They think that there is no one to call should something go wrong. The home care provided by a companion helps them see the beauty in life and gives them the confidence that, should they need help, there is someone available to them.
Companionship is just as important for senior adults, if not more so, as it is in any other stage of life. When you can’t be your senior loved one’s constant companion, you can hire someone to stand in the gap. Some home care agencies offer companion services as part of their non-medical care package.