The concept of companion care can seem odd to some. But once you understand the underlying facts, the idea of having home companions for the elderly makes a lot more sense.
What Is Companion Care Services?
Home companions help the elderly with their mental health and emotional wellbeing; aspects of senior health that have been neglected for far too long.
In general, we know how to deal with mental health issues better than we did 20 years ago. But we tend to focus on mental health only in the absence of physical health problems. Because seniors have more physical problems than younger people, we tend to not focus enough on their mental health. But often physical health problems contribute to mental health problems.
Seniors grew up long ago when there was a strong stigma surrounding mental health issues, so they are much less likely to talk about their mental health struggles. But these conversations are easier to have with home companions.
To illustrate this problem, let’s imagine a conversation between you and your elderly parent about how they are feeling. It might go something like this:
-“How are you feeling?”
-“Are you in any pain?”
-“Oh my back hurts a bit from gardening last weekend, but I’m fine.”
You’ll notice in that conversation, there was no focus on emotional wellbeing or mental health. Yet seniors suffer from depression at worryingly high rates. This is partially because they tend to live isolated, and therefore lonely, lives. If they’re retired, they don’t see their coworkers anymore. Many friends and family may have moved away, or they themselves have moved away. If they live alone, the effects can be very bad indeed, but even senior couples can become isolated together. The solution in many cases is to secure home companions for the elderly.
Very Few Adult Children Of Seniors Can Provide All The Physical Care Their Parents Need, And Most People Can Accept This. What Makes Mental Health Any Different? Home Companions For The Elderly Can Be As Important As Personal Caregivers.
Personal care involves caregivers helping seniors with the Activities of Daily Living: brushing their teeth, helping them use the bathroom, helping them get around, etc. But companion care can be just as important. It works by caregivers visiting seniors in their homes at least once a week to talk about how they’re feeling, reminisce, play games, and encourage them to get out more. Many people don’t live in the same city as their parents. Even if they do, they can’t visit as much as they would like. Furthermore, seniors are often more willing to talk about their mental health struggles with home companions than their family.