Social isolation is a growing health epidemic among older adults. It is now linked to a wide range of adverse health effects, including falls, dementia, depression, anxiety, and increased risk for hospitalization. According to a recent study, the health risks of prolonged isolation are equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
At LivHOME, we believe in the powerful act of connecting with others. Our mission to inspire wholeness encourages your loved one to rediscover their hobbies, passions, and unique circumstances to maximize their quality of life—wherever they call home.
What is Companion Care?
Companion care is a caregiving service that helps older adults stay connected to people and activities they enjoy. It typically involves having a care companion visit the home on a regular basis and ensure the individual’s emotional, cognitive, social, and safety needs are being met.
To better understand the benefits of companion care, watch the below video about BJ, an elderly woman who is visually-impaired. Our professional caregivers were able to help BJ pursue her hobbies, enjoy family gatherings, and even swim with dolphins!
In addition to feeling socially isolated, seniors have to cope with loss—of spouses and loved ones, peers, their abilities, etc. That’s why it’s important for them to remain connected to people through daily socialization. Otherwise, the toll of loneliness coupled with losses can lead to depression, anxiety, and other psychological and physical issues.
Companionship offers emotional support, as well as a helping hand when needed. The right care companion can empower and encourage your elderly loved one so they can live happily and independently in their homes for as long as possible.
A Greater Sense of Well-Being
Caregivers don’t just help with physical and functional needs; they attend to social needs, as well. A home care companion will engage your elderly loved one in meaningful discussion and conversation, providing them with the 1:1 attention that combats loneliness and improves well-being overall.
Think about it: If you were no longer able to bathe yourself, would you rather be helped by someone who made you feel “less than” because they constantly reminded you of what you couldn’t do, or by someone who truly engaged with you as a care partner?
Meaningful and Joyful Activities
Companion care for the elderly will help your loved one enjoy life to the fullest. No one is too old or too frail to experience some form of laughter, fun, or joy on a regular basis, and our job is to figure out how best to make that happen, so it can be incorporated into our plan of care.
We will strive to understand what kind of hobbies and joyful activities were once important to your loved one, the obstacles that are preventing your loved one from participating in those activities, and how adaptation can help your loved one re-engage with the pastimes they once enjoyed.
Companion Care Services at LivHOME
LivHOME Caregivers are trained to deliver companion care services, such as incidental transportation, meal planning and preparation, and housekeeping. Our goal is to ensure your loved one’s daily living needs are met, whether at home or out in the world at the market, the salon, the doctor’s office, or anywhere in-between.
Companion care services may include:
- Staying connected with family and friends
- Attending local events and activities
- Reading and playing games
- Improving health, diet, and exercise
- Monitoring the home
Staying Connected with Family and Friends
Our elderly companion care emphasizes social connections. Your loved one’s care companion will encourage them to maintain frequent communication with family and friends using our innovative care technology. LivHOME Connect is a powerful senior-friendly tablet that enables your loved one to easily make video calls and share pictures with the people who mean the most to them.
Attending Local Events and Activities
Often, senior assistance involves companion care that extends beyond the house. For example, we can help your elderly loved one:
- Dine at favorite restaurants
- Watch sunsets at the beach
- Go to movies, concerts, and museums
- Spend time with pets and animals
- Maintain ties to faith-based communities
Reading and Playing Games
Interacting with a caregiver who encourages stimulating activities, such as reading, playing games, and art projects can help your elderly loved one maintain healthy brain function. Improved cognition and a better sense of well-being are just two of the many benefits of companionship.
Improving Health, Diet, and Exercise
Senior companion care can help bring order and accountability to your loved one’s daily routines. For example, if a caregiver is scheduled to come in the morning, your loved one must get to bed on time the night before. Over time, your loved one’s health, diet, and exercise routines will improve through social interactions that include:
- Sharing meals with a companion
- Going for a walk or running errands
- Keeping daily routines and regular sleeping habits
Monitoring the Home
A caregiver can keep a watchful eye on your elderly loved one’s living conditions. For example, they can make sure the home stays clean, the fridge stays stocked, and walkways stay clear. They’ll also notify you if there’s anything awry that demands your attention.
Frequently Asked Questions About Companion Care
Navigating elder care isn’t easy, and it’s natural for you to have questions about whether companion care is right for your loved one. We are here to help you on your caregiving journey and will work with you to meet your loved one’s caregiver needs.
Q: Who typically provides companion care services?
The people who work as senior companion caregivers are usually mature, retired individuals who have had similar experiences or socially motivated, engaging individuals who enjoy working with seniors and want to make a difference.
- Individuals who want to work with seniors
- Mature, retired individuals with similar life experiences
- Socially motivated, engaging individuals who want to make a difference
Q: What are typical companion care service requests?
Caregivers provide companionship in a variety of different ways. Here’s a small sampling of places we have taken seniors for their enjoyment:
- County Fair
- Sporting Event
- Religious Services
- Picnic at a scenic location or at a local park
- Walking together
We can also facilitate visits from friends and engage your loved one in stimulating activities, such as reading, playing games, and art projects.
Q: Is there a minimum amount of hours per week for companion care?
Most clients use our senior care services twice per week, for 3 or 4 hours each session. Our minimum at LivHOME is a 4-hour session.
Q: Is companion care appropriate for someone with dementia?
People with dementia may have impaired short-term memory. But that doesn’t mean they can’t benefit from companion care. For people with dementia, that may mean stringing together multiple, smaller moments that fill them with a sense of joy throughout the day.
Q: How frequently does a care companion typically visit the home?
We have clients who plan outings as frequently as 5x a week, to others that engage us 2x a month.
Q: Can I get the same companion caregiver each time?
Consistency is important to us, too, and whenever possible we strive to have the same caregiver providing services.
Q: How can I schedule companion care services with LivHOME?
Call today for a free 30-minute consultation with a LivHOME Care Consultant.