What is companion care?
Companion care is a service that provides assistance to people who live independently, but have physical limitations that require help with daily household tasks while providing social interaction at the same time. These services are especially beneficial for older adults and people with disabilities. This can include a variety of household tasks like:
Companion care also offers a social outlet that can greatly benefit a person who is living alone. This may look like friendly conversation, taking walks together, or playing cards at the kitchen table. In fact, the social aspect of companion care may be the greatest long-term benefit of all.
Although home health aides offer similar services, they focus mainly on providing household assistance along with other health-related services like bathing, dressing and managing a person’s medication. Companion care providers focus on helping with household duties and providing companionship to people who with disabilities or who are aging in place. Companion care providers do not provide medical assistance or personal services like bathing or feeding their clients.
Why is companion care helpful?
Living alone can be isolating and very lonely, and with limited mobility, it can be difficult to get out and enjoy life outside of your home. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) reports that nearly one-fourth of adults over the age of 65 are considered to be socially isolated. Companion care providers offer a solution that meets a person’s social needs while lightening their burden at home.
With the assistance of a companion care provider, a person can more easily live and thrive at home, where they’re most comfortable. It also allows a person with a physical disability to have the assistance they need to gain independence by living alone. Basic tasks like washing dishes, cooking, and washing laundry can be overwhelming, and with a little help, living alone can be perfectly manageable.
Companion care also offers invaluable opportunities for socialization, when a person may otherwise be completely isolated. A companion care provider may take their patient to scheduled social activities at a senior center, arrange outings to coffee shops or appointments, or simply lend a listening ear at home. Oftentimes, this is the only social interaction that a person may receive, and the health benefits are truly remarkable.
Who needs companion care services in home?
Companion care services are designed for people who live alone and have mobility challenges. This includes elderly people who are aging in place and people with disabilities that make daily tasks difficult. Companion care providers offer assistance around the house to make life easier, so a person can continue to live comfortably at home, instead of moving to an assisted living facility.
As we age, mobility becomes more difficult, and basic tasks can become burdensome. With assistance from a companion care provider, older adults and people with disabilities are able to enjoy the freedom and independence of living alone without carrying the heavy load that daily chores can become. This greatly improves their quality of life.
Additionally, people with limited mobility and older adults may potentially struggle with making social connections, and loneliness and isolation can be debilitating. Companion care services provide the assurance that a caregiver will be visiting regularly to provide much-needed social interaction. This is especially helpful for people who are unable to leave their homes without assistance.
What are the downfalls to not having companion care?
Sometimes companion care happens organically. For example, some older adults may have a neighbor or friend who checks in on them from time to time, or helps with tasks like taking out the garbage or stopping by for coffee. A person with a physical limitation may have a friend who comes regularly to drop off groceries or other items. In other instances, companion care can be a regularly scheduled activity that ensures that a person has the assistance they need in order to live and thrive alone.
Since loneliness and isolation can often occur among older adults, it’s crucial that they receive the socialization and care that’s necessary. In fact, with this type of isolation comes many health risks. The CDC reports that the health risks of loneliness include:
- An increased risk of premature death from all causes (similar to the risk of death from smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity)
- 50% increased risk of dementia
- 29% increased risk of heart disease
- 32% increased risk of stroke
- Higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide
- 4 times increased risk of death in heart patients
Although alarming, many of these risks can be decreased with intentional companionship and socialization.
How PASCO can help with companion care services.
At PASCO, we believe people live their best lives when they have the resources they need to live at home independently for as long as possible. Whether they’re aging in place or living with a disability that limits mobility, we’re committed to providing the services they need to thrive. Our companion care service providers offer a friendly face and a helping hand, so you don’t ever have to feel alone. We work alongside families to make sure every client feels connected to his or her community, because every person deserves to live a happy, vibrant life.
If you’re interested in learning more about the companion care services we provide at PASCO, please contact us today. We’re here to support you.