Loneliness and social isolation among the elderly were serious public health issues even before the COVID-19 outbreak. In fact, in a 2020 study released by the National Institutes of Health, 24% of adults over the age of 65 were considered socially isolated. Today, that number is far higher due to the pandemic, which is where companion care services can help.
What is Companion Care?
The need for social and emotional support doesn’t diminish as individuals age. It’s just as important for those who are elderly – and even those who have special needs – to be social; however, it’s harder to achieve this due to challenges ranging from mobility and fatigue to a lack of transportation.
Yet, when individuals are isolated for too long, studies show a dramatic increase in health complications. Loneliness and isolation can lead to issues including dementia, stroke and heart disease, as well as higher rates of depression, anxiety and suicide. There’s also an increase in hospitalization and visits to emergency departments for those who are socially isolated.
Companion care services can be a lifeline for these seniors and disabled adults, providing them with the necessary and healthy social interaction they need to maintain their overall sense of well-being. It can include anything from sharing meals and playing games to simply sitting and chatting. Companion care can also provide practical support, such as help around the house, transportation and assistance running errands.
How Our Companion Care Services Can Help
Whether your loved one is in their own home, living with you or in a senior living community, FirstLight® Home Care’s professional caregivers can provide the right level of companion care. We’ll work with you and your family to personalize a schedule that’s a fit for your loved one, whether it’s on a part-time or full-time basis. We can even provide live-in services on a temporary or more permanent basis, if needed. Some of our companion care services include:
Offering Comfort & Conversation
Just the opportunity to have a friend and confidant to talk with can make a world of difference for your loved one, especially if they’re living alone. This gives them something to look forward to and it provides the social and emotional support they need. With companion care, we can even play games, cards, bingo or participate in other recreational activities your loved one enjoys.
Preparing Healthy Meals
A healthy diet is critical to your loved one’s overall well-being. If they’re having trouble keeping up with cooking and eating nutritious meals, our caregivers can help. We’ll prepare regular, healthy meals for them and can even handle all the clean-up afterward.
Helping with Light Housekeeping Chores
If your loved one doesn’t have the energy or mobility to maintain their household, our companion caregivers can provide assistance. This includes tidying rooms, removing trash, lightly cleaning kitchens and bathrooms, vacuuming and more. We can also wash, dry and fold clothing, including towels and bed linens. Their home will feel fresher, cleaner and be more comfortable.
Offering Medication Reminders
Many individuals become forgetful as they age. However, when taking important medications for issues like high blood pressure or dementia, this can put their safety and health at risk. Our caregivers can remind your loved one to take their medications, and we’ll notify you if we see any new side effects or concerns regarding your loved one’s medication.
If your family member can no longer drive, it can be difficult to get to appointments or run errands. Our companion caregivers can help by driving them to appointments, to get groceries, or pick up prescriptions or dry cleaning.
Organizing Paperwork & Bills
We’ll make sure your loved one’s mail and paperwork are organized. We’ll keep track of bills and other important messages, as well as maintain an efficient system for paperwork. We can also help your loved one open and read mail if they have issues with their vision or difficulty opening envelopes.
When an individual is struggling to live independently, it can put stress on you. It’s why – in addition to companion care services – we also offer respite breaks. These will give you and other family caregivers some much-needed space and freedom, whether it’s to spend time at home, manage work obligations, go on vacation or simply go out to dinner. We know caregiving is a challenging role, and we’re here to help you get the time off you need.
If you’re interested in companion care for your loved one, contact your local FirstLight Home Care today. We can provide comfort, support and help through our compassionate caregivers.