With an estimated one third of older adults not in hospitals or nursing homes living alone, the demand for in-home companion services is substantially increasing. Many seniors that have long term care needs depend on family and friends for assistance with daily and weekly activities, so much so that it is projected that twenty percent of adult children care for one or both of their parents.
But what happens when the adult child or default caregiver lives hours away? Or what if a senior does not have relatives in a position to help care for them? The answer for many in these scenarios is in-home companion services. A reputable company offering these services should employ well-trained staff who specialize in serving as both a friend and an assistant for aging seniors.
If you are considering an in-home companion for yourself or a loved one, first equip yourself with information regarding what these specialists provide for seniors and how it can benefit both seniors and their loved ones. This research will then empower you to make an educated decision about choosing the right companion service.
How An In-Home Companion Can Help Seniors And Their Families
Many families turn to in-home companion services due to the physical distance between them and their senior, or because of the toll caregiver burnout can sometimes take. Some of the ways this service can help seniors and their families include:
For caregivers that are close enough to regularly be hands on, it can become a significant challenge to balance caring for their own family with caring for a senior that requires assistance with daily activities. Studies show that these responsibilities can cause increased rates of depression and stress-related ailments for caregivers. A representative from a reputable service can step in and help lighten the workload without sacrificing the quality of care provided.
Peace of mind
In the absence of a family member’s presence, peace of mind is still available when a senior care professional is actively helping their loved one. Whether it is to help them with routine tasks such as housekeeping and transportation or to simply create a friendship that helps alleviate loneliness, care advocates can be a comfort to loved ones as well.
An extra set of eyes
Even the most devoted caregivers need some time apart from their loved one, and it is in the interim that uncertainty can creep in. An in-home companion service can provide an extra set of loving eyes to determine if an individual is suddenly experiencing more difficulty doing everyday tasks or if their memory is becoming spottier. These crucial observations can then be relayed to family members so a physician can reexamine a senior’s health condition as needed.
Typical In-Home Companion Services
Every senior is unique and has different needs. A good in-home companion service will take the time to meet with seniors and their loved ones to discern their needs and establish an agreed upon plan of action. Care advocates typically perform the below services:
It is common for older adults that are restricted in movement outside the home to feel increasingly lonely and isolated. Having a caring and empathetic individual visit them at their home on a daily or weekly basis can be a wonderful source of companionship.
Taking care of chores within the home can be exhausting at any age, but for many seniors, typical tasks such as dusting, vacuuming, laundry, changing the bed linens and so on can feel almost impossible on some days. A reputable companion can help with these chores while providing company as well.
Meal planning and preparation
Planning for meals can be another area where older adults may struggle. An in-home companion can help put the fun back into mealtime by helping a senior plan their meals for the week, shop for groceries, and even prepare the meal. This can increase meal options and may ensure better overall nutrition.
Transportation for shopping, errands, or appointments
While being at home may have its advantages, it can feel confining when seniors are unable to get out on their own to go to appointments or run errands. A reputable service should be able to help a senior with local transportation needs, whether it is a trip to the grocery store or to buy a gift for a friend or family member.
Benefits Of In-Home Companion Services For Seniors
Though an aging adult may experience some doubt about an in-home companion service, most seniors who do use it find the benefits to be rewarding. Here are some of the benefits of this type of help:
Built in social interaction
If being homebound has inadvertently decreased an individual’s social circle, it can create feelings of loneliness and despair. Having a care advocate to help with tasks and be a source of conversation and friendship can be a wonderful part of daily life.
Without help, some seniors might have no other option but to go to an assisted living center or nursing home. Having a care advocate come to them allows aging adults to still enjoy the creature comforts of home and retain some independence.
Not missing out
Whether it is bingo at church or grabbing a cup of coffee with a few friends, an in-home companion can help get aging seniors to social events. In addition to increasing feelings of independence for the senior, it can also keep them from feeling like they are missing out on life.
Many adults experience great anticipation on the days when their companion arrives to spend time with them. It can help break the monotony of each week and give them a much-needed mood lifter.
If you are considering in-home companion services for yourself or a loved one, please reach out to Senior Estate Concierge today.