How Can I Help My Parents’ Health Before it Becomes Problematic?
Aging is difficult and scary. Many of us are wrapped up in our own concerns. The bags under our eyes, our receding hairlines, the perplexing amount of physical pain that follows a day of playing tennis with our friend. As disconcerting as these discoveries may be, it tends to really hit us when we look at our parents.
When they turn 60, 65, 70, etc. When they slow down or have trouble doing things we wouldn’t think twice about. It’s scary even before there’s any serious problem. We can’t do anything to stop the aging process, but is there something we can do to help our parents avoid the worst difficulties of aging?
Loneliness and isolation
There are an increasing number of seniors who live alone. Whether they’re single or widowed, they’re on their own and it can be difficult to gauge exactly how they’re doing. While a hilarious and entertaining Golden Girls type scenario might work for some, for most seniors, it is impractical. And this is problematic. For the healthy and young, living alone can be lonely and even contribute to depression. For the elderly, it can be even more difficult.
But what can you do about it? Of course, you should spend as much time with your parent(s) as possible. But it would be unfair to both yourself and your parent(s) to pin all the responsibility of keeping them company and making sure they are all right just on you. And that is why you should consider companion care.
Companion care is a type of care work that focuses on the emotional and mental well being of seniors. By keeping them company and engaging with them, the care workers can help keep the social and emotional parts of their brains active. Just like a muscle, these mental skills can atrophy when not used over a long period of time, so it’s important to keep them sharp.
Companion care is great for seniors who don’t live alone as well. An elderly couple can become isolated from the world together just as easily. Companion care is very valuable not just because it gives seniors somebody with whom to talk or play card games, but because the careworker can also evaluate how they are doing. Many seniors are reticent to tell their children everything that is bothering them. They could be having some serious mobility or pain issues that they don’t wish to reveal.
Furthermore, hiring a companion care worker is very low stakes and non-invasive. Companion care does not insinuate that your elderly parents cannot cope on their own, an assumption to which some seniors object. What’s more, utilizing companion care now can open the door to more involved types of care if and when it becomes necessary. A companion care worker might notice your parents cannot take care of their home very well or run all their errands and so you may want to transition to homemaking services. Or, if there is an unfortunate health incident, transitioning to more serious personal care will be easier if companion care had previously been established.
Get in touch
If you would like to hire a companion care worker or learn more about it or Executive Care’s other services, please get in touch with us today.BACK