Learn about elderly companion services and discover why seniors need these services and how they can improve their mental health and emotional wellbeing.
What Are Elderly Companion Services?
An elderly companion is a type of caregiver who visits seniors in their homes and provides them with care services. Many caregivers help seniors with their physical health (personal care) or help them take care of their homes (homemaker services). Companion caregivers, however, help seniors with their mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Why Do Some Elderly People Need Companion Services?
Seniors face many challenges to their mental health. One is loneliness. People often move around a lot throughout their lives, from city to city, and state to state. By the time they retire, they may live somewhere far from family and friends. Without seeing coworkers regularly anymore, it’s easy for people in situations such as these to become lonely.
Loneliness can cause serious problems. It often leads to depression, which can be a dangerous medical condition. While the effect is most pronounced on seniors who live alone, even couples can become isolated and lonely together. Apart from loneliness, seniors’ mental health might suffer because of the passing of loved ones and friends, because of other ailments they have, and just because of aging.
How Do Elderly Companion Services Work?
Companion caregivers visit their elderly clients in their homes. Just as a personal caregiver might help a client get up and down the stairs, or as a homemaking caregiver might help a client with dusting and vacuuming, a companion caregiver helps clients improve their mental health and maintain their emotional stability. They can do this in a number of ways.
The first service they provide, and something that pervades all that they do, is talking. Having conversations with their clients can be incredibly beneficial. They learn what’s been worrying their clients, what’s on their minds, and how they’ve been doing. They can also reminisce with their clients, go over old photo albums with them, and talk about current events.
Companion care can also include fun stuff, like playing card or board games with the client. This not only provides entertaining social interaction, it can also help keep the mind sharp. Companion caregivers can keep an eye on the mental health of their clients and playing games like these can indicate how they’re doing. Last, companion caregivers can help their clients keep up with correspondence by sorting their mail, typing letters for them, and helping with email.