When we think of the issues that seniors face, we often think of their physical struggles. Mobility problems, a lack of energy, and susceptibility to viruses are all issues that seniors face at higher rates than younger people. When we think of the mental health of seniors, we often think of it in the form of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s Disease. These are all serious problems for many seniors, but seniors struggle with emotional problems that can affect anybody. Problems such as depression. And they struggle with these problems at alarmingly high rates. What can we do about this? One option is senior companion services.
Physical And Mental Health
For a long time, healthcare meant physical health. Physical health is what we can see; it’s the most tangible aspect of our health. It’s only natural that we focussed on that more. But over the centuries, we developed a stigma in our society around mental health issues. If somebody had a flu, or a bad back, or cancer, that was totally understandable and we sympathized with that person and tried to help them. But for some reason, if somebody was struggling with depression, or anxiety, or was experiencing psychotic episodes, we shunned that person, called them crazy, and even mocked their condition. Thankfully, times are changing, and most people in society today know better.
Seniors And Their Mental Health
Seniors are, by definition, from an older generation. Many of them grew up in a time and place when there was still a strong stigma attached to mental health issues. This means that many seniors who struggle with mental health don’t tell anybody about their problems. If seniors are ashamed, they won’t seek the help they need. And this can have dire consequences. Especially because many seniors do need help with their mental health.
Isolation Of Seniors
Over the decades-long course of our lifespans, people move in and out of our lives. By the time we’re seniors, many of our friends and family have moved away, or we have. Once we retire, we don’t see coworkers any more. That leaves many seniors living alone and feeling lonely. And this world is not really built for seniors, so many of them feel isolated in society. And while couples can become isolated together, the situation is really bad when seniors live alone, and especially if this is because their spouse has recently passed. Isolation occurs at high rates for seniors and this can lead to depression and that is a serious mental health problem.
Senior Companion Services
There is no cure-all for depression; everybody reacts differently. But for many seniors, senior companion services help. Senior companion services involve a caregiver spending time with a senior, not to help them with their physical health but with their mental health. Senior companion services mean improving and maintaining mental and emotional wellbeing. Senior companion service caregivers talk with seniors, listen to their concerns, reminisce with them, play card and board games with them, help them keep up with correspondence, and help them keep in touch with friends, family, and the outside world.