Loneliness is something that can impact anyone. Keep in mind that loneliness can have different meanings. For example, one may define loneliness as being physically alone, like in a state of solitude, and another may describe it as a state of mind. This complex and unique condition is different to every individual. But the general description is that loneliness is a feeling of emptiness and unwantedness that comes from a lack of human contact, which effects the mind as it naturally craves for such relationships. Left untreated, prolonged loneliness can lead to other more serious psychological, emotional, and even physical complications.
Companionship, on the other hand, is the opposite of loneliness. Companionship is defined as a feeling of fellowship or friendship. In other words, companionship can be the solution to loneliness.
Here, we will discuss how the rise of companionship care is crucial to combat the loneliness that is found to plague a vulnerable age group, the elderly.
Loneliness in the Elderly
According to a study by the University of California San Francisco, over 40% of the elderly in the US experience loneliness regularly. Moreover, researchers found that this problem is the cause for concern of other more serious health problems that can also eventually lead to death. In fact, studies have found that there is a 26% increase in the likelihood of mortality for elderly patients who are lonely. Therefore, as the consequences are dire, the healthcare industry is stepping up to be more vigilant in diagnosing and treating lonely patients.
Is Your Loved One Lonely?
Loneliness usually affects elderly who live alone or whose family is too busy to care for them, resulting in them living their day to day lives alone. And today, more and more older adults live independently, some too far away from even the closest family member who can take care of them. Nevertheless, the elderly aren’t abandoned by their families per se, but oftentimes to avoid being a burden on their children, they choose to live independently. This phenomenon is even more prevalent today with the busy schedules that keep us too occupied from dropping by even every once in a while. In the long run, loneliness will begin setting in that will eventually cause a domino effect of negative feelings and lack of motivation.
Benefits of Companionship Care for the Elderly
The impact of companionship care in the lives of the elderly is substantial. Living their day to day alone can cause them to lose a sense of purpose or motivation for everyday things that are important for maintaining a good quality of life such as grooming, eating, etc. With companionship care, the elderly will not only have someone to talk to, but also some who can help them with daily activities such as cooking, cleaning, taking their medication on time, or other activities that they might not be able to do themselves. The main benefit of companionship care is that the elderly can remain at the comfort of their own home whilst someone drops by to check up on them every now and then to ensure they are safe, healthy, and have all the necessary essentials to survive.
Benefits of Companionship Care for Your Family
Companionship care does not only provide for the elderly, but also for families to have a peace of mind that their loved ones are well taken care of. Take the recent global pandemic COVID-19 for instance. For families who did not have time to find support for elderly relatives during lockdown, companionship care from home health care providers stepped up to ensure that they are well provided and protected. Companionship care ensures that they have all the essentials to sit through the lockdown, and also a friend to talk to every now and then. Secondly, companionship care is also a more cost-effective solution than placing your elderly in a care home. With companionship care, your loved one can remain in their own homes with a professional to drop by every now and then.
While our elderly understand that we have busy schedules and prefer to live on their own to lessen our burden, we must not neglect them. Even if you don’t have the time to drop by occasionally, why not arrange someone to do so? Companionship care for your elderly will improve their quality of life, helping them to live independently, while still ensuring that they are safe, healthy, and most importantly, happy. Overall, companionship care offers peace of mind to families, knowing that their loved ones are well cared for when they are not able to do it themselves. With companionship care, the next time you visit your loved one, they will be smiling from ear to ear!