Navigating daily life can become increasingly challenging for older adults who choose to age in the comfort of their own homes. Even when medical care isn’t required, many seniors could benefit from a helping hand and friendly face to offer day-to-day support.
Filling this need is where a personal care companion steps in. A non-medical personal caregiver, or sitter, can greatly enhance seniors’ well-being and quality of life. From helping around the house and helping ensure safety to offering emotional support and companionship, personal care companions play a crucial role in helping older adults maintain their independence.
If you’re considering adding to your loved one’s support system, below are six ways that hiring a personal care companion can help.
1. Enhancing Daily Living
When an older adult lives independently at home, they may eventually struggle to perform some tasks on their own. Basic daily activities such as bathing, cleaning, and cooking can become increasingly difficult. Physical limitations can make even the simplest tasks feel like a challenge.
But often, seniors are afraid to ask for help. They might not want to admit that they’re struggling. Sometimes, they even worry about being a burden to their family.
Personal care companions play a vital role in improving the quality of life for these people. A caregiver can assist with many essential activities of daily living. They ensure your loved one’s needs are being properly met while your loved one maintains their independence and ability to live comfortably at home.
Daily tasks a personal care companion can assist with include:
- Personal hygiene, i.e., bathing, toileting, grooming, and dressing
- Grocery shopping, meal preparation, and nutritional support
- Light housekeeping and laundry
- Running errands
- Transport to appointments
- Medication reminders
2. Providing Emotional Support
Personal care companions don’t only provide physical and practical support. They offer emotional and social support, too.
Many adults end up becoming socially isolated as they age. Losing a spouse and/or friends can result in a limited social network. Physical and mental limitations can also prevent seniors from leaving their homes and cultivating connections. This isolation can lead to loneliness. It can even increase the risk of depression and other mental health issues.
Even with family caregivers offering support, distance or professional and personal responsibilities can prevent you from spending as much time with your loved one as you might like or they may want or need.
A companion caregiver can help to alleviate isolation and loneliness by offering a friendly face and a listening ear. They can provide regular social interaction and meaningful conversation. Never underestimate the power of a good chat over a cup of coffee!
A caregiver can also promote mental stimulation by encouraging your loved one to engage in their favorite hobbies and activities. These activities could be anything from playing a game of cards or painting a picture to going for a walk in the park or to the movies together.
Over time, a caregiver can become a genuine, trusted friend. This new friendship can greatly enhance your loved one’s emotional well-being and mental health. It also can help eliminate some of the pressure and guilt you may feel when you can’t be with your loved one as often as either of you would like.
3. Ensuring Safety and Security
Safety is paramount when a senior is living on their own. In the US, falls are the leading cause of injury and injury death in adults who are 65 or older.
A personal care companion can identify and remove potential trip hazards in your loved one’s home. They can also help reduce the risk of accidents by aiding with mobility, whether helping them get up from a chair or assisting with using mobility devices.
While no one can guarantee 100% safety, care companions have experience and training in helping you identify and eliminate potential hazards to your loved one.
Beyond accident prevention, care companions can also enhance a sense of security within the home. If your loved one is becoming forgetful, a caregiver can help. They can complete tasks like making sure the doors are locked when they leave, and home appliances are turned off when not in use. They can also inform you if they have security concerns for your loved one so you may further address them.
Having a caregiver can also provide peace of mind. You know that someone is around to help in case of an emergency. Personal care companions can’t offer medical assistance themselves, but they can swiftly contact you, your family doctor, or emergency personnel or provide transport to the hospital if needed.
4. Supporting Family Caregivers
Looking after a family member is a physically and emotionally demanding role. Whether you’re a full-time family caregiver or provide support around your existing job, caring for a loved one can lead to increased stress, exhaustion, and even burnout.
A personal care companion can step in to provide some much-needed respite. Respite care allows you and other family members to take time off to rest, recharge, and look after your own needs.
This increased support network can be invaluable for maintaining a healthy balance between caregiving responsibilities and personal well-being. And it can make the time you spend with your loved one feel more meaningful. What if you could play a game of cards when you’re together instead of spending that time trying to take care of the home and personal tasks your loved one needs done?
A care companion will work closely with your family to provide the best possible care. As a team, you can establish routines and create a personalized care plan that considers your loved one’s needs and preferences.
An experienced caregiver can also offer advice, support, and tips. After all, they have experience caring for others and fulfilling other families’ needs. They can help make your role as a family caregiver much more manageable.
5. Promoting Independence
Losing independence is a significant concern for many older adults, most of whom would rather not end up in a full-time nursing facility or care home.
By having someone around to offer support, your loved one can maintain their independence and live in their own home for longer.
A personal care companion doesn’t simply do everything for your loved one. They empower them to continue doing things for themselves and provide appropriate assistance when needed.
A good caregiver knows how to strike a balance between fostering independence and ensuring safety. They also consider an individual’s preferences in everything they do.
A caregiver can even help your loved one maintain their physical independence by supporting them with mobility, encouraging regular exercises, and helping with the use of adaptive aids and assistive technologies.
6. Specialized Care and Assistance
Every person has unique needs. A personal care companion can provide specialized care tailored to those requirements.
Whether it’s managing chronic conditions such as arthritis or Parkinson’s, assisting with post-surgery rehabilitation, or offering memory care support to those with dementia, caregivers are highly experienced in working with age-related conditions.
Specialized care can be a huge support to family caregivers without any prior experience working with these conditions.
When hiring an in-home care companion, remember to tailor your search to find a caregiver with skills and experience that match the needs of your loved one.
Find the Perfect Personal Care Companion with Providence Home Care
If you’re considering hiring an in-home personal care companion for an elderly family member in the Oklahoma City area, Providence Home Care can help find the right fit for you.
Providence is an award-winning home care agency with a team of compassionate and experienced caregivers ready to provide the best possible care for your loved one.
We offer in-home personal care and companionship on a schedule that meets your family’s needs, from a few hours a day up to 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our caregivers address physical, emotional, and social needs, contributing to a significantly higher quality of life.
Our values include treating every person with dignity, respect, and compassion, operating with integrity, and serving our clients with excellence. So, you can rest assured that your loved one is in great hands.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.