When is Companion Care Needed?
Companion Care Services Help Reduce Social Isolation and Decline
When visiting your mother’s home, you notice that the kitchen and bathroom are in disarray, and the dishes have been piling up in the sink since the week before. Her house does not look like the place you knew in years past. And tidiness has gone by the wayside.
Your mother informs you that she rarely goes out because she is afraid of driving. She tells you that she is lonely and misses her long-time friend and neighbor, who moved away six months ago. She also shares with you that her doctor has suggested that she get out of the house, stay active, and start going on those fast-paced walking routines she had so often bragged about the year before. However, she doesn’t want to go out by herself. You’ve tried visiting more often to keep her company, but your work schedule has made it difficult to keep pace with those good intentions.
This last visit has been an eye-opener. The experience has helped you identify your mother’s loneliness, lack of interest in previous activities, and reduced physical activity. This may be the right time to start talking about the need for companion care services.
A caring and dependable Senior Helpers’ caregiver who can provide companionship, assist with household activities, or partner up on daily walks may be a welcome change for any senior who lives alone. Having a companion caregiver stop by three to four hours per day, five days a week could be a great way to start reducing social isolation.
Isolation, feelings of loneliness, and a lack of physical activity can all have adverse effects on the health of older adults. Loneliness and depression may also contribute to accelerated cognitive decline in some seniors, according to a study published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.
Receiving quality companion care services can have a positive impact on seniors who live alone, rarely go out, and do not have family or friends living in the same area. The sooner family members can help provide the right services and interventions, the better it is for our loved ones! And don’t assume that technology can do the trick. Making an occasional phone call, sending an email, and texting may help some. However, technology has its limitations and will never take the place of human contact and person-to-person interactions.
How to Choose a Companion Caregiver
If you can't personally be with an aging loved one around the clock, hiring a trusted in-home caregiver is one way to have peace of mind that they are regularly being looked after and protected. Selecting a caregiver for your senior is perhaps one of the biggest decisions you will make in your and your loved one's lives, so it's important to know what to look for when making this choice. Here are the top traits to look for in a senior caregiver:
A successful senior caregiver is a stickler for details. This comes into play on a daily level in following schedules and administering medication, but also on a broader scale in noticing gradual changes in your loved one's behavior, health, and cognitive ability. Close attention to detail can help ensure adjustments to care are made as your loved one's needs evolve. It also ensures that changes to your loved one's health and wellness are noticed and addressed as soon as possible.
Strong communication skills are crucial in several respects. Your caregiver must be a diligent communicator with you and their employer to keep you both informed of the developments in your loved one's health and routines. Your caregiver must also possess strong communication skills for relating directly with your loved one in order to understand their everyday needs and wants. Depending on your loved one's health status or stage of life, the caregiver may need to interpret non-verbal or emotional cues to provide the best care.
Caregiving can be challenging work, and those that are best suited for it garner personal fulfillment from the experience. Senior Helpers Orlando is the first and only national in-home care company ranked as a Great Place to Work by the Great Place to Work® Institute. Our caregivers report sentiments like their work is more than just a job, offers a sense of pride, and contributes to the greater good of the overall community. It is this sense of personal investment that sets the average caregiver apart from the stellar service provider.
When selecting a caregiver for your loved one, you'll want to look for someone with field experience and references to back it up. At Senior Helpers Orlando, we are committed to never sending a stranger into your loved one's home. This means that unlike referral services or registries, where caregivers are contracted to provide service and may do so intermittently, our caregivers are all supervised employees. We ensure background checks have been performed, and references have been consulted. We also make sure to arrange introductions between our caregiver and your loved one before care is provided so that your loved one always opens their door to a vetted, familiar face.