3 Misconceptions About Companion Services for the Elderly

November 28, 2017 | BY PHS Staff

In recent years, companion services for the elderly have become more and more popular for seniors. Companion services are unlike traditional in-home care services, which focuses on seniors’ physical comfort and well-being. Companion care, on the other hand, focuses on seniors’ emotional health, providing seniors with conversation, compassion, and friendship.

companion services for the elderlyWhile companion services are becoming more popular and widely known, some misunderstandings persist about this type of elderly care. Below, we’ve compiled three of the most common misconceptions about companion services for the elderly, plus the reality behind each of these mistaken beliefs.

1. Companion Services Are Only for Lonely Seniors

The Misconception: Companion care is only meant for seniors who live on their own, who spend most of their time alone, or suffer from loneliness.

The Reality: While companion services for the elderly are particularly valuable for lonely and isolated seniors, many other elderly adults benefit from companionship services. Companion care can be used in a number of versatile ways, providing seniors with a partner for favorite activities, making sure that someone’s there to monitor seniors’ well-being, or simply giving seniors a person who’s always there for conversation and companionship.

2. Anyone Can Provide Companion Care for the Elderly

The Misconception: Companion services for the elderly require a low level of skill, and can be performed by caregivers with minimal care skills and experience.

The Reality: Companion care services might be non-medical in nature, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t require a high level of skill. Providing seniors with quality companionship requires a level of understanding, empathy, and dedication that few people possess. Moreover, caregivers are far more qualified to deliver companion services for the elderly when they are trained and experienced in the issues commonly faced by elderly adults.

3. Companion Services Play a Small Role in Elderly Health

The Misconception: Companion care services, while great for seniors’ emotional health, do little for seniors’ physical health, and should be a lower priority than care services that address physical health concerns.

The Reality: In recent years, doctors and researchers have discovered that the link between seniors’ emotional well-being and physical health is far stronger than most people ever suspected. Seniors who report feeling lonely and isolated report higher rates of frailty, mobility difficulties, heart disease, respiratory issues, and other serious health concerns. Elderly adults suffering from senior isolation also have lower life expectancies. In fact, isolation and loneliness have a similar impact to cigarette smoking on a person’s expected lifespan. By directly addressing seniors’ emotional well-being, companion services for the elderly help seniors live more happily and more healthily.

Do you have a loved one who could benefit from companion care services? Call (866) 943-9791 to schedule a free in-home consultation with your local Preferred HealthStaff office, or learn more about our companion services for the elderly.