The word companion which has both French and Latin origins. It means literally “one who breaks bread with another.” The Latin com means “together with” and panis means “bread.”
Eating together is one of the cherished activities of friends. What greater way for a senior to enjoy friendship is there than to sit down for a meal with their caretaker?
“It’s fun to get together and have something good to eat at least once a day. “
– Julia Child
We all need companionship. A person who lives alone, especially with limited transportation, can often become lonely, depressed, and suffer worsening health.
Dangers of Elderly Living Alone
Imagine an elderly person who has raised a family and whose spouse dies. The days become long and uneventful. Such a person could be a grandmother or grandfather, but for some reason their children or grandchildren cannot visit very often.
This occurs often. The elderly population is large and growing larger, due to advancements in health care education, according to the National Institutes of Health, which said in a study,
Many people experience loneliness and depression in old age, either as a result of living alone or due to lack of close family ties and reduced connections with their culture of origin, which results in an inability to actively participate in the community activities.
The study said that the elderly preferred remaining engaged in social interactions.
Ten Ways to Overcome Isolation
Zara Lewis, a caregiver to her mother-in-law who writes in the Daily Caregiver, suggests ten ways to overcome isolation and depression.
- Treat sleeping problems
- Promote a sense of purpose
- Encourage social interaction
- Keep them physically active
- Make sure they eat healthy
- Entrust them with a chore
- Show them they’re loved
- Seek professional help
- Keep an eye on pills
- Consider home care
The last option is the one that we at Destiny Senior Care seek to supply. Our caregivers are trained to interact socially with their senior, to make sure they stay healthy with proper eating and exercise, and keep an eye on them, watching for any danger signs.
Advantages of the Companionship of a Caregiver
If you are caring for your aging parent, you will likely find that they need help before you or they expect to need it. The elderly are like all of us: we don’t like to complain, or admit that we are in need of a friend or helper, or that we are in any kind of danger.
Here are five reasons why a caregiver who offers companionship might be a good option at this time in your senior’s life.
- They need social interaction, as evidenced by their being listless or inattentive.
- A caretaker not only interacts with them but can help with chores around the house, such as light housecleaning or making simple meals.
- It’s good for mom or dad to become accustomed to a part-time caretaker now, because they might need longer daily visits, or full-time care as they decline in age.
- A caretaker can give you a third opinion about solutions to problems involving your loved one.
- A caretaker who is seen arriving at the home every day is a deterrent to criminals who victimize the vulnerable.
A Harvard study said that there is a growing need for home care services in suburban and rural areas. The study said that older adults who live in these areas are less likely to have access to the services they need to age in place. And aging populations are growing there faster than in urban areas.
“From 2000 to 2016, the number of adults 65 or older living in low-density metro areas increased by more than 6 million people, totaling about 15 million. Additionally, another 8 million seniors live in non-metro areas, according to the report.”
Homeowners’ desire to age in place was a driving force for growth in these areas, according to the report. In 2017, less than 4% of those over 65 had moved in the past year.
One factor that will drive home care services in the years ahead is that lower-density areas are more difficult to service by social service agencies and typically provide few housing options other than single-family homes.
With 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, a growing number of seniors will need access to supportive services such as home care.
And as baby boomers begin to turn 80 in the decade ahead, growing numbers of seniors will need in-home care to achieve their goal of aging in place.
Why choose home care? It provides companionship – necessary for a happy life!
In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.
– Khalil Gibran