How Companion Care Impacts Senior Mental Health

As the old adage goes, no man is an island. But as people progress through retirement, we also become more isolated. In fact, according to experts, 25% of retirees live alone. This may lead to loneliness and anxiety since the need for companionship is not met. That's when companion care for seniors becomes beneficial.

Most aging retirees prefer to age in place. They want to enjoy their retirement years in the comfort of their home. While this option helps them live more independently, it also poses some concern.

Who will assist them in heavy activities? Who will they talk to or spend time with, especially when their children are far? What will happen when they start to feel lonely at home?

You or an aging loved one doesn't need to face all of this alone. In-home companion care services strive to make senior life easier, safer, and more comfortable.

Effects of Isolation and Loneliness in Seniors

Isolation can have adverse effects on a person's physical and emotional health. This is especially true for seniors living alone.

It can lead to feelings of loneliness, depression, and anxiety. And loneliness acts as a fertilizer for other diseases, according to Dr. Steve Cole. In fact, social isolation and loneliness can lead to obesity, a weaker immune system, Alzheimer's disease, and more.

With that being said, it’s crucial for seniors to receive emotional support. Companionship will not only promote physical health but can also uplift a senior's mental health.

Retirees can age in place comfortably, and at home, with proper assistance. So, whether you or a senior parent needs full or part-time homecare, or someone to provide emotional support, in-home care may prove to be beneficial.

The Emotional Benefits of Companion Care for Seniors

Alleviates Feelings of Loneliness

As children age, it's normal for them to move away. And when we retire, it's harder to see friends and co-workers. That said, you or an aging loved one might find themselves isolated from others.

This can negatively impact a senior's mental health. Isolation can lead to feelings of loneliness. In the worst cases, it can lead to depression.

Senior companion care offers aging retirees someone to talk to. These professional caregivers will be there to listen to their problems. Or accompany them while they do the activities they love.

An in-home care provider can participate in activities such as:

  • Playing mind-stimulating games such as chess or cards

  • Telling stories

  • Arts and crafts

  • Planning outdoor trips

  • Accompanying the elderly in social activities

For retirees who require extra assistance when going around, the services of a home health aide may prove to be beneficial. These professionals can provide physical assistance. Also, they provide assistance with mobility devices such as wheelchairs or walkers.

Stay Connected to a Larger Community

Aging retirees may find it challenging to do what they once loved. For example, doing groceries or going to movies may seem difficult. But it doesn’t have to be.

Companion care provides assistance so seniors can still participate in social activities. For example, a companion can drive them to religious or spiritual services. Caregivers can also accompany them while going to important appointments like a Dr’s visit.

So aside from having someone to check in on them and provide conversations, caregivers also help seniors stay connected to a larger community. They can accompany retirees in these activities:

  • Visiting friends when it is safe to do so

  • Plan social calendar activities

  • Dine out at their favorite restaurant

  • Assist in personal tasks, cleaning, and appointments

Provide a Sense of Security

Seniors who live alone are more prone to isolation. But moving to a nursing facility isn't always the solution. If you or an aging loved one can safely live independently, it's best to live in a home where they feel safe, comfortable, and can maintain that sense of pride.

In-home companion care can help mitigate risks that otherwise may have led someone to living in a facility. For instance, common household dangers, such as forgetting to turn off the stove can be prevented. If a home health aide is around, they can also prevent falls. So, with this little bit of assistance, seniors will feel secure in their home.

Respite for Family Caregivers