For far too long, we thought of physical health as separate from mental health, if we thought about mental health at all. But we now have a much clearer idea of how the two are connected. Mental issues can have a great effect on one’s health and that is often how they manifest or, at least how they are first noticed by somebody else. And seniors often face more than their fair share of mental challenges.
Growing old is not easy. But it’s something with which we all deal. Many of us had a miniature panic attack when we first turned 25. And then more so when we hit 40. And then again at 50. But it’s more than just the scary realization of how quickly time can pass. We become physically limited. Just as we can’t run as fast at 40 as we did at 20, we can’t physically do all the things at 60 –or 70, or 80– that we could do decades previous.
And then there’s the idea of our own mortality. These are heavy issues and maybe nobody knows how to fully cope. It’s especially devastating to see friends, siblings, and even spouses pass away. Seniors have a lot to deal with. So it’s no wonder that depression and anxiety plague many of our elderly loved ones. And perhaps worst of all, many seniors do not have anybody with whom they can talk about these things. They are far too often alone and isolated. They need a companion.
As much as we would all love to be there for our parents and elderly loved ones, it’s not always practical. We have our own lives, responsibilities, and concerns. Not many of us can be with our elderly loved ones all the time and whenever they need us. Furthermore, seniors are often hesitant to talk to their children about their health problems or their emotional distress. They don’t want us to feel burdened by their troubles. They are our parents, after all.
That’s why companion care can be so crucial to the well being of seniors. Companion care involves a care worker coming by your elderly loved one’s home and just spending time with them. The care worker might help with some issues such as light housekeeping and meal preparation, but the primary goal is to make sure seniors have somebody to talk to. We humans are social creatures, but far too many seniors haven’t anybody with whom they can socialize, let alone somebody in whom they can confide their worries and problems.
Even if an elderly person is still perfectly mobile and in great health, companion care can still be a great benefit. Isolation has been linked to a variety of mental disorders, all of which can lead to mental problems. A senior who is free from disease or major ailments is unlikely to stay healthy if her loneliness is causing depression which is in turn causing her to skip meals due to a lack of appetite. Furthermore, companion care opens the door to an easier transition to more involved care if and when that becomes necessary.
If you have any questions about Executive Care’s companion care services, or any of our other services, please get in touch with us today.