What You Should Know About Senior Isolation & Companion Care

July 28, 2017 | BY PHS Staff

At Preferred HealthStaff, our companion care services are often used by seniors who live at home alone. Without companion care, many of these seniors would be at risk of senior isolation, a serious issue that affects the mental and physical well-being of the elderly.

Companion care is uniquely suited to combat senior isolation. By providing seniors with regular company, conversation, and human contact, caregivers can enrich the emotional and social life of their clients, helping them lead happier, healthier lives.

Understanding and Identifying Senior Isolation

For those of us in the home care industry, senior isolation is a major concern. Recent studies have shown that seniors who are socially disconnected from others have a much higher rate of self-reported physical and mental health problems. Other researchers have linked isolation with a higher rate of mortality in older adults.

Research has shown that seniors’ health is affected by how often they interact with others, how many people are in their regular social circle, and how lonely they self-report feeling. That can make identifying senior isolation difficult. For instance, a senior might spend time regularly with one or two people, but still feel isolated due to a small social circle. In other cases, a senior could attend regular social events, but feel lonely because they have few close, personal relationships.

If you’re worried that your loved one may be suffering from senior isolation, it’s important to consider all three of these factors. Ask your loved one questions about how they spend a typical day, who they spend it with, and how often they experience feelings of loneliness.

How Companion Care Helps Isolated Seniors

Companion care is an excellent way to relieve the problems of senior isolation, offering regular social contact to seniors who rarely get to see family and/or friends. This can be especially helpful for seniors with limited mobility, who often find themselves cut off from the world because of how difficult it is to leave the home.

But companion care doesn’t just enrich the social lives of isolated seniors. It also offers important things that most seniors need from friends and family.

Many isolated seniors are at higher risk of health problems because no one is there to notice the warning signs. In other cases, seniors’ physical health declines because nobody is there to join them for healthy activities, like walking or gardening. Companion care can ensure someone is there in these instances. Caregivers can speak up if something seems wrong and can subtly encourage healthy lifestyle choices.

If you’re worried about senior isolation in your mom, dad, or another elderly loved one, we encourage you to learn more about our companion care program. Call Preferred HealthStaff today at 866-943-9791 to get started.