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What is Companion Care and How can it Benefit my Family Member?

elderly women on a park bench
By Tim Bodor

As our loved ones grow older, they often need more care than they may be able to provide on their own. Some of this may be medical related, such as more frequent trips to the doctor and pharmacist, but other needs can’t be so easily prescribed.

Sometimes what a loved one needs isn’t medical, but can be emotional. They might need a friend to help them from feeling quite so lonely, a listening ear to discuss their problems with, or a way to go for walks without fearing a fall.

Companion care is designed to provide this very needed support for older adults. Companion care gives your loved one access to someone who genuinely cares about their emotional needs, and is willing to give them that help.

A helping hand as well as a friend

On top of being there to help soothe away loneliness, companion caregivers can also offer a range of other non-medical services. These include things like meal planning and prep, driving to and from appointments, light housekeeping, and personal care.

Companion care is all about seeing your family member as a whole person---not just one piece of them—and taking care of that person as a whole. While a companion care caregiver is there to help as needed, they’re also there to be a friend to your loved one.

This might mean playing board games, watching movies together, participating in hobbies, or acting as a friendly support for a number of other activities. By being a friend to your loved one, they can help bring light and joy into their lives, while helping them to keep their mind and body active and healthy.

Companion caregivers are usually chosen based on personality, selecting a person who best matches the individual who needs care. If your father, for example, loves chess and is looking for a companion who will play, the caregiver will be selected with that in mind.

Respite care for family caregivers

Companion caregiving can also act as relief for family givers who are with their loved ones and caring for them the rest of the time. Even the most loving and devoted caregiver can use a break sometimes, and by allowing someone else to spend time with your loved one and making them laugh and smile, everyone will benefit.

Burnout is a very common problem for family caregivers, even at the best of times. Caregiving can be a significant time commitment, and can involve the sacrifice of personal time, careers, and other family members. By giving your family member a companion, you’re also giving yourself some of that time back.

Companion care can be a valuable solution to many common issues that come with aging in place. It helps ease loneliness, offers a fun break from the monotony of daily living, and makes daily living run more smoothly.

If you have a spunky loved one who isn’t ready to give up on the fun in life, but needs a little bit of help to keep living the way they want to, companion care can be a wonderful solution for everyone.

For more information or to find out if companion care might be right for your loved one, contact Homewatch CareGivers of Loudoun today.