How To Help Seniors Deal With Mental Health Struggles
Senior companion care is a form of care that is perhaps not as well known as others. Nevertheless, it can be an absolutely vital form of care for elderly people.
Senior Companion Care Helps Improve Mental Health Much Like Personal Care Helps Improve Physical Health.
Personal caregivers can visit seniors to help them with what we at Executive Care call the Activities of Daily Living. These are everyday tasks of self-care that are simple for the young and able-bodied, but not quite so simple for others. Personal caregivers remind their clients to take medication, help them with eating, help them with mobility, and help them in the bathroom.
But personal care is not the only form of senior care. Mental health is just as important and companion caregivers can help their clients maintain their mental health and improve their emotional wellbeing. They visit with them, spend time with them, monitor their mental health, and keep them connected to the outside world and grounded in reality.
Why Is Senior Companion Care Important?
We all know that seniors face physical health challenges more frequently than younger people. But the same is often also true of mental health challenges. Many seniors find themselves living their retirement years in places where no family or friends live nearby, or at least not any who can visit very often. With no coworkers to see every day, these seniors lead very isolated existences and experience far too little interaction.
This can create loneliness, depression, and a loss of touch with reality. The effect is quite pronounced in seniors who live alone, but even couples can become isolated together. Companion caregivers visit these seniors and alleviate their loneliness. Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, pose other threats to mental health. Companion caregivers can help institute routines and tools to help seniors cope with these diseases and they can monitor the disease’s progression. When things get bad, caregivers can recommend a transition to full-on Alzheimer’s and dementia care.
What Does Senior Companion Care Entail?
Senior companion caregivers can provide seniors with a number of services. Some of these include:
- Providing companionship, friendship, and emotional support
- Talking, listening, and sharing experiences
- Playing games/cards and reading
- Helping keep clients in contact with family, friends, and the outside world
- Providing transportation to medical appointments, grocery stores, etc.
- Accompanying clients to recreational and/or social events
- Writing or typing letters/correspondence
- Organizing and reading mail
- Teaching/performing meal planning and preparation
- Performing light housekeeping
- Accompanying clients on walks
- Reminding clients to take medication
- Reminding clients to start or finish their meals