Good nutrition. Physical activity. Routine checkups. These are all essential lifestyle components for healthy aging. Another key component for older adults is companionship. That being said, it isn’t always prioritized as it should be. To live their best lives, elderly people need to keep company with others regularly. Otherwise, they face the many detriments that may come with being isolated and feeling lonely.
There are many reasons why companionship is important as we age and for our aging loved ones. Below, we’ll go over a few of the main reasons as we explore the importance of companionship for the elderly.
Reasons Why Companionship Is Important
One of the most prominent reasons for companionship is to combat isolation and the feelings of loneliness. When someone gets older, he or she loses friends and family members along the way. While we often see this as simply a part of life, being consistently lonely at any age isn’t good for our mental health. In terms of elderly mental health, this lack of companionship isn’t just bad or sad, it could actually be dangerous.
For instance, seniors who face isolation day in and day out are at a higher risk of depression. Suffering from such a condition may then feed into lonely feelings, which could lead to more isolation and increase the severity of depression. The result of this vicious cycle for many can be suicidal thoughts and even actions. Additionally, someone who lacks companionship may have a harder time getting help if something goes wrong. It could be a fall, medical emergency or any type of situation where help is needed but it’s difficult to get to the phone.
Another reason why quality companionship is important is that it not only helps drive away negative feelings, but it creates positive ones as well. Social interaction can provide beneficial stimulation for a senior’s mental and emotional health. Making the brain work through socialization can be a lot like working out the body. It helps someone feel stronger mentally and emotionally, which, in turn, fends off dementia. What’s more, having company can encourage healthier lifestyle habits and hygiene practices, further driving the benefits. All these reasons and more add up to a very positive impact on a person’s overall wellbeing.
There are many types of companionship. It could be a close group of friends, family members who live nearby or a community program providing regular get-togethers. Social engagements like these can help get someone out of the house and engaged. However, although this transitory socialization is good, it may not be enough to combat negative feelings long term.
Companionship can also be found through a professional caretaker who lives with an elderly person or who comes multiple times a week to help with errands, chores and to catch up. While this doesn’t entail medical treatment or physical help with bathing, toileting and so on, it is still incredibly important and constructive. Such quality, ongoing companionship helps seniors feel less alone and safer in their homes, in addition to providing essential help when they need it most.
Socialization and Companionship Make Life Better
All in all, companionship comes in many forms and provides a range of benefits, both short- and long-term. It can even help people stay healthy late into life, remain in their homes longer and keep active in the community. When it comes to living life to the fullest, the importance of companionship for the elderly cannot be understated.
Here at Custom Home Care, our dedicated staff of professional companions whole-heartedly recognize the importance of companionship for the elderly. We provide extra assistance to seniors so that they may stay where they’re most comfortable: at home.
Our companion care services are designed to improve quality of life while protecting independence, making them invaluable for many seniors. We also provide a range of other services to see to your needs or those of a loved one.