Why Senior Companion Care is Important

Seniors Mental Health

October 21, 2021
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Companionship can come from more than just a partner or spouse. A companion can be a pet, a caregiver, a friend or relative who is close to you, or just a social group that you can rely on. There are many different types of companionship, but they all have one thing in common—companions help fill some sort of need.

Companions are not in-home nurses or personal support workers, but are helpful for completing light housekeeping duties, grocery shopping, or picking up prescriptions. 

What duties can a companion help with?

Companions can keep you company, while also being responsible for a wide range of mutually agreed upon duties. Aging in place, or living at home in old age, may require outside help. Activities we were once able to do easily can become more difficult in old age. Reduced mobility, joint fatigue, shortness of breath, and muscle strain all contribute to increased difficulty with household chores. 

Tasks that Companions can Help With

Companions are emotionally supportive and can be helpful with daily tasks too. A companion can help you by keeping a clean living space. Living in a cluttered area is not safe as it may present as a hazard for falling and can negatively effect your mental health. Hire a companion to help organize your living space or complete other tasks like:

  • Cleaning around the house including sweeping, mopping, vacuuming
  • Doing the laundry
  • Meal preparation 
  • Grocery delivery or grocery shopping
  • Mobility assistance in the home or when going outside
  • Social events companion
  • Exercise partner or walking buddy
  • Driving you to and from appointments
  • Medical appointment support
  • Teaching you new skills like tutoring you in a hobby or learning a new language

As you can see, there are a wide variety of functions that companions can fill. If you find that you lack support in an area of your life, you can browse sites like Caremada that allow you to look for and hire a service provider. 

Aging in Place 

Growing old at home is a comfortable option because we are surrounded by familiarity. We know the neighbourhood, we know our neighbours, and we know where to shop. As we age, we become less adaptable to change. Moving to a new home can be a huge challenge to overcome. However, your loved ones may have more peace of mind if they know you are taken care of. 

Many seniors who live at home rely on the help of companions. Companions are not just there to watch you or supervise you to make sure that you're safe. They can lend a hand around the house or be there if you just feel like talking. When choosing a companion, make sure you clearly outline your needs. Here are some things to consider when hiring a companion. 

Determine your Requirements for a Companions

If you require more intense help with activities of daily living, including bathing, toileting, and dressing, a home healthcare aid (HHA) may be the best option. These duties extend beyond the responsibilities of a casual companion. If you are looking for daily care, factor this into your budget. If you only require help for 2 hours a day, then the cost will be lower. Hourly or daily rates vary by region. 

  • Make a list of your daily activities and which ones you need the most help with
  • Determine your budget for hiring a companion
  • Jot down key traits you are looking for in a companion
  • Take into account your accessibility level
  • Note important skills needed such as light housekeeping, cooking, driving, or knowledge of another language

You want to make sure that you get along with your companion. After all, they will be by your side for multiple hours per day. If you usually get along with people who are cheerful, add this to your job description. Do not be afraid to interview multiple companion candidates before choosing the right fit for you. 

If you have limited mobility, you should seek for someone who has experience looking after patients with similar needs.This is important because you may require that your companion to be able to drive or own a vehicle. Transferring from a bed to a wheelchair requires training and shouldn't be done by those who are inexperienced. Take care when interviewing candidates to ensure that they have the correct qualifications that meet your needs. 

Feeling Lonely as an Older Adult

Feeling lonely, depressed, or isolated are common emotions that seniors go through when living alone at home. You may miss the background noises of your family and be struggling to fill the void by constantly having the television on in the background. You may feel like you have no one to talk to, or that all your friends live far away from you. You may be mourning the loss of a spouse. Whatever the case, finding a companion may be a perfect solution for you. 

Companions can help you pass the time by doing things, such as:

  • Playing chess or checkers with you
  • Playing card games as your opponent
  • Becoming your walking partner or personal trainer 
  • Practicing tai chi, yoga, swimming, or other low-impact activities with you
  • Reading out loud to you if you have impaired vision
  • Knitting, cross-stitching, or sewing with you
  • Taking you to community social events 

Spending time with another person can improve your health, both physically and mentally. 

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