It’s a well-known fact: Elderly people are likely to suffer from depression. There are many explanations for this tendency. Aging often results in a loss of mobility and independence. Some seniors may be dealing with a disease or chronic health condition. Others may find their social circle tightening as their friends move away or pass on.
If you’re concerned about your loved one, you should know there are things you can do to boost their mood and their health. A companion caregiver is one great option.
Health and Social Wellbeing
Research indicates a substantial connection between social connectedness and a person’s health. People who socialize regularly with friends, family, and community groups tend to have better health. A wide social network appears to insulate people from conditions such as depression, which in turn influences other health indicators.
Many senior citizens find they can’t be as social as they once were. Their groups of friends may dwindle as people move to long-term care or pass away. Their families may not live nearby or may not visit very often. They may not be able to get out and about to join community groups.
Many older people become isolated, which contributes to depression and overall poor health. A companion caregiver can change the narrative.
How a Companion Caregiver Helps
The idea behind companion caregiving is that the caregiver develops a warm and friendly relationship with the senior. They’re not just a caregiver. They’re also a companion! While they may provide some services, such as light housekeeping or meal preparation, their scheduled appointments are also social visits with your loved one
For seniors who are housebound, live by themselves, or even experience difficulty getting out and about, the companion caregiver’s visits provide much-needed social interaction.
Getting out and About
Companion caregivers also help seniors get out more. They don’t just drop in and visit. They may take your senior to community groups, social events, or even exercise classes. Whether your senior wants to play bridge with some senior friends on Wednesday afternoons or would like to enroll in a class focused on seniors’ fitness, companion caregivers can help ensure they get there.
Companion caregivers may even assist with day-to-day tasks such as going to the grocery store. While this isn’t strictly a social outing, it does provide opportunities to interact with other people.
The companion caregiver can help seniors cope with mobility issues, allowing them to get out more.
Connecting with Health
As mentioned, a good social network appears to help people sustain their health. Being socially involved often gives people pleasure. The ability to participate in classes or community groups can give your senior a sense of purpose, accomplishment, and pride. They may learn a new skill or coping mechanism. They might get to do something they enjoy doing in the company of other people.
Being social and engaging in pleasurable activities increases the “feel-good” chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine and serotonin. The increase in these chemicals influences your senior’s mood, helping them ward off depression.
Depression, as noted, can affect other health conditions. In seniors with chronic conditions, depression can actually make the disease progress faster or worsen symptoms. Social interaction, as facilitated by a companion caregiver, helps your loved one maintain their health. In some cases, seniors’ health may even improve.
Get a Helping Hand
Companion caregivers can also help you, giving you peace of mind and being there for your loved onewhen you can’t be. By working together, you can improve the health and mood of your elderly loved one!