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27 Dec 2017

Is Companion Care Right for Your Loved One?


Topics: Home Care

Your loved one is independent, living on their own, and getting by quite well. This situation describes many of the seniors in Canada today. They may not be as quick or as agile as they used to be, but they’re still sharp of mind and quite capable of taking care of themselves.

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This doesn’t mean their lives are without challenges, of course. One of the most common challenges senior citizens face today is a shrinking social circle. Whether it’s the weather or their health keeping them housebound, your loved one may not get out and socialize like they used to.

If this sounds familiar, you might want to consider companion care.

A Fraying Social Network

Research indicates the importance of having a strong social support network. Women often have larger and more closely knit social circles than men. Researchers think this may be one reason women tend to live longer and have better health. In essence, their social support network helps them stay healthy.

Research on depression and loneliness has similar findings. People with large, supportive social circles are less likely to be depressed. In turn, they’re usually healthier.

Many adults witness their social circles becoming smaller over time. Shrinking is particularly acute for seniors. They may lose touch with co-workers after retirement. They may have lost touch with old friends. Some of their friends have passed away. Their families may not live close by, and their adult children are busy with their own lives.

Some seniors are also limited in how often they can get out due to their health. If a senior is ill, they may not be able to get out. Mobility may also play a part. Location may also play a role in a senior’s access to social settings, such as community classes or social gatherings. All of this contributes to limited social opportunities for seniors.

What Is Companion Care?

If any of the above described the situation facing your loved one, you may want to consider engaging a senior companion.

Most people think of care for seniors as providing help with the tasks of day-to-day living, such as light housework or meal preparation. In other cases, the senior may require assistance with personal hygiene.

Companion care is a little bit different. It focuses instead on providing mental and emotional care for your loved one. Companion caregivers may assist your loved one with some light housework, but their visit is often focused on visiting with your loved one. They may even help seniors get out and about!

How It Helps

As discussed above, human beings need social interaction to protect their health. This doesn’t change with age. Senior citizens still benefit immensely from a supportive social circle of friends, caregivers, family, and others. Unfortunately, many seniors find themselves with limited opportunities for social interaction.

Even if your loved one is still very capable of getting out and about, they may not. They may decide the community centre is too far away. In the winter, the cold and snow may keep them home. There are many reasons your loved one may not go out as much as they used to.

A senior companion brings the social to them. Having company is often exciting for anyone, no matter their age. Companion caregivers provide social support to seniors who may otherwise lack it. This, in turn, helps protect your loved one from loneliness and depression, which can negatively affect their health.

In short, senior companions can keep your loved one happier and healthier!

Is It Right?

Not every senior needs companion care, and not every senior wants companion care. Talk to a provider to discuss your options and determine what’s right for you and your loved one.


Tennille Kerrigan

Tenille is the president of Senior Helpers Canada, the premier franchise that delivers on what families and their loved ones need most. She has bachelor’s degree in business administration from York University, and has over 10 years of experience as a business owner and director. With Senior Helpers, our franchisees provide the professionalism and expert care that families and their aging loved ones require.

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