The Value of a Companion
You may be surprised to know that one of the leading factors contributing to death in the elderly population is isolation. There are many things that can contribute to a sense of isolation, even when someone is fortunate enough to enjoy a loving family. These include:
*the loss of a spouse
*the loss of physical abilities, which may prevent participation in church, clubs, or other social networks
*the geographical distance that often characterizes today’s extended families
*the death or illness of close, lifetime friends
*changes in hearing, vision, or mental clarity that make communication more difficult
*embarrassment due to incontinence or other health issues
*the loss of a driver’s license
Although your caregiver may meet many needs during a visit, companionship is critically important. Attentive, respectful, cheerful conversation can create meaningful bonds between the caregiver and the senior. In addition, Cascade Companion Care aides are trained to make these times of interaction as rich as possible. Perhaps a caregiver will discover the person’s favorite music, and stream those “golden oldies” to delight the listener. Often, caregivers show great interest in family photographs, which leads to the mining of precious memories and the retelling of defining stories. Mementos in the home can also inform the caregiver of the hobbies, career, and distinctions that have marked the senior’s life. Honoring and sharing in these personal interests not only make the caregiver’s visit deeply engaging, but they often have a spill-over effect: Many families say that a caregiver’s interest in a topic long forgotten has rekindled the senior’s own interest and pursuit of it. Caregivers can also expand a senior’s horizons by outings that re-engage them with their community.
All people thrive in caring networks. As these networks tend to diminish in later years, it is a privilege for Cascade Companion Care to encourage and support a senior with caring companionship.