We all know that seniors face greater health challenges than younger people do. First, there are the physical challenges. We will all slow down and we will all amass the commensurate aches and pains as we age. That’s just a fact of life. With these physical challenges come the increased dangers of falls. Then there are the neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia that are more common among the elderly. These are all serious issues facing seniors and we are all aware of them. But there is another threat to the health and lives of seniors and it’s a threat about which we don’t think often enough.
Seniors are at a higher risk of isolation than other demographics. Most seniors are retired, so they don’t have the social interaction that they had during their working lives. As we go through life, we often lose contact with friends as we all move away and become more involved with work or our families, so many seniors don’t have many, if any friends, who live in the same area as they do. Many seniors are also single, divorced, or widowed, so they don’t have a spouse with whom to interact. Even if seniors do live together as a couple, they can both become isolated from the world together. And this can be a big program.
Isolation leads to losing touch with the outside world. This can threaten one’s perception of reality. Furthermore, isolation leads to loneliness. And loneliness leads to depression. Depression is a serious health concern for anybody. Not only is depression a significant mental health problem it can in turn affect one’s physical health and cause problems in that realm as well.
In-Home Companionship Services
For the adult children of seniors who may be at risk of isolation, the first impulse is to just spend more time with them. And so they should, if they can. But many children and loved ones of seniors don’t live in the same city as they do. And even if they do, they can’t always manage to visit with them every day or even every week. We all have our own responsibilities, after all. That’s why in-home companionship services can be vital.
In-home companionship services work much like any other in-home care service. A caregiver comes to the home of the senior in question and provides the needed care. For some seniors this care means help getting in and out of bed or other personal care services. For other seniors, this means help with the laundry or other homemaker services. In-home companionship services are a bit different. These services focus on the mental and emotional health of the client.
How In-Home Companionship Services Work
What exactly do in-home companionship caregivers do? They can do any number of things, from helping to plan and accompanying clients on social excursions, talking to them, playing card games, and helping them keep up with correspondence. You can even pair in-home companionship services with other services such as homemaker services. Arranging for in-home companionship services when seniors are relatively healthy acts as a preventive measure and makes a transition to personal care easier if and when that becomes necessary.