Social connections are the key to successful aging. Whether it’s with friends, family members, or co-workers, interpersonal relationships have repeatedly been shown to affect older adults’ quality of life positively.
But as people age, they spend less time with friends and family. It could be that the seniors struggle to find opportunities for companionship or don’t know where to find them. The isolated state of being alone can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
To help combat these problems and keep our seniors safe, many retirement communities offer companionship services for their residents. These services can include anything from simple excursions to planned weekly visits by local volunteers.
So many different organizations and residences offer them that there isn’t one master list. Keep reading for information about companion care services, their benefits, and where you can find them if you’re interested in joining one as an older adult.
What Is Companionship for Seniors?
Companionship services are designed to create social support networks for older adults who live alone.
These services can benefit anyone who lives alone and is looking for company and friendship. They can include anything from group activities to one-on-one care where companions come to your own home and spend time with you as you would like to.
Some programs bring together people of different backgrounds and interests, while others are specific to people in a certain age range. There are even programs designed to match people with shared interests or lifestyles, so you can be sure to find a program that fits your needs and interests.
The Benefits of Companion Care Services
Companionship improves mental health.
Aging is similar to grieving the loss of a loved one. A person experiences emotions such as sadness and anger during this journey that help them heal from their pain after losing someone they care deeply about in life.
The elderly are in a constant state of grief as they grieve for their lost youth and ability to do what was easy.
A common mental health challenge seniors experience during this time is social isolation.
Social isolation can cause seniors to feel depressed, leading to further mental health issues like anxiety and dementia. However, companionship provides regular social interaction and is one of the best ways to help alleviate the mental health challenges of aging.
Activities with Companions are Safer
As seniors grow older, they become more prone to injuries and may even need assistance moving around the house. However, most seniors prefer not to move into nursing home facilities, opting to stay in their own homes.
This can be scary for seniors who fear falling, as a fall can result in severe injury or even death.
To help seniors stay safe, active, and out of assisted living, in-home care companions can assist with light housekeeping duties and minor medical tasks such as medication reminders. This way, seniors can safely remain in their homes.
Companions Help Seniors Maintain Their Independence
Some seniors may find it challenging to receive assistance from others.
This isn’t because they don’t appreciate the help or are stubborn.
Accepting help is an incredibly vulnerable and challenging thing to do. It can be uncomfortable, embarrassing, and even scary.
By helping seniors navigate the challenges of aging, companions can help seniors feel more comfortable accepting assistance by showing them that they don’t have to suffer in silence.
Tips for Finding Good Personal Care Services
Ask your loved ones for recommendations.
Ask your loved ones if you’re unsure where to start with finding companionship. They’ll likely know some people who could use a friend and appreciate being asked.
Use Online Platforms to Find Services.
Most communities have a specific page where you can find local companionship services. This makes it easy to browse and see what you’re looking for without having to go through different lists.
Check with local senior centers for
Check with your local senior center if you’re not finding what you want online. These organizations are designed to bring seniors together in one place. You’ll likely find many senior care services at the center, such as senior clubs, volunteer opportunities, and group activities.
Senior centers are also great places to learn more about local events, activities, and programs tailored to older adults.
The need for companionship and making new friends is universal, but it can be challenging as we age. Fortunately, there’s no reason you should have to give up your independence!
At Caring for Portland, we know seniors want to spend their golden years in a familiar space that has been the backdrop of beautiful memories. That’s why we insist on providing personal in-home care for our clients.
Call us at 503-836-3909 to learn more about our services.