In recent years, the US government released a study about the negative health effects of loneliness and social isolation for seniors. Beyond the toll loneliness takes on mental health, it can lead to issues such as a weakened immune system or even dementia.
In 2017, the number of adults aged 65 or older who lived alone reached 12 million. In total, an estimated 61% of seniors would prefer to age at home.
For seniors who prefer the option of aging at home, there will likely come a time when professional home care services are needed. The physical health benefits of professional home care are clear.
Read on to find out more about how professional home care services can also improve a senior citizen's mental health and decrease their feelings of loneliness and social isolation.
What Are Professional Home Care Services?
Professional home care services are adaptable to each individual's needs. Some families choose long term care while others choose respite care. The difference is not in the quality of care received but rather in the length of time our home care providers work with the patient.
Home care providers can assist in day-to-day tasks that become increasingly difficult as we age. These include dressing and grooming, cooking and cleaning, and physical activity. Home care providers can also assist with transportation for seniors who are no longer able to drive, which is especially important if and when regular doctor's visits are necessary.
Professional home care providers can help seniors take their health back into their own hands. Managing a medication schedule and maintaining a balanced diet is not always easy for people who are aging alone. With assistance, seniors can return to a healthier state of living which allows room for a happier state of mind.
It should be noted that professional home care service does not entail at-home medical care. However, our home care providers are equipped to help seniors make doctor's appointments and get to their doctor's office on time.
Keep reading to learn more about what home care providers can do to improve the wellness of seniors aging at home.
How Can Professional Home Care Services Combat Senior Loneliness and Isolation?
When we are of able mind and body, there are many basic activities we take for granted. It can be hard to imagine how many needs go unfulfilled for those who are, for the most part, homebound and socially isolated. Home care providers understand these issues well and are equipped to help in many ways.
Consistent Visitation and Meaningful Interaction
When you sign up for professional home care services, you can decide how frequently you desire companionship. Whether it's once a week or once a day, having face-to-face interactions with professionals who become familiar with you can have a significant impact on mental health.
From companion care grows meaningful friendships. Our home care providers go beyond making sure that seniors are taking their medication, eating well, and keeping up with their grooming needs. They also get to know the seniors they work with and encourage game-play and the practice of fulfilling hobbies.
Home care providers can help seniors get their social lives back. They can assist with transportation and mobility. This enables seniors to attend social events, wellness classes, and other activities that provide an outlet for communication.
Even running errands can alleviate feelings of social isolation. Social isolation occurs when people are incapable of seeing other people for long periods of time. While meaningful visits are the most beneficial for seniors suffering from social isolation, conversations with store clerks or servers can help them to feel as though they are an active member of the community.
Companionship of Pets
Many studies have found that owning a pet can boost your mental health and emotional well-being. For some seniors, it becomes difficult to keep their pets over time. Tasks from walking a dog to bending down to clean out a litter box become harder to manage due to joint pain or difficulty walking.
It is a heartbreaking moment when someone is left with no other choice but to surrender a pet. Home care providers can provide pet care in addition to the role they play in the lives of human patients. Pet care includes feeding, exercising, and cleaning up after pets as well as bringing them to any necessary vet appointments.
Improved Relationships with Previous Caretakers
The role of taking care of a senior aging at home often falls on younger or more able-bodied family members. This can put a strain on the relationship between the senior and the family member or members who are tasked with caretaking. Visits from these family members may become focused primarily on the senior's health, housekeeping, and grooming needs.
Bringing in the help of professional home care services can free family members from their constant concern for and focus on a senior's physical wellbeing. That means that time shared together can return to a state of joy, emotional bonding, and fun.
Even if you don't go the route of long term care, a few rounds of respite care can make an improvement. Nonprofessional caregivers are always at risk of developing what is referred to as "caregiver burnout." Caregiver burnout stems from the strain family members are put under when put in charge of caring for an ill or aging loved one.
Consider Professional Home Care Services
If you or a loved one are aging at home and experiencing feelings of loneliness or social isolation, consider professional home care services. Regular companionship can do wonders for our mental health and day-to-day assistance can help us to take our health back into our own hands.
Before you sign up for our services, we would love to provide you with a free in-home consultation. This will allow us to determine the ways that we can fulfill our patients' needs. It also allows our patients a chance to get to know us and what services we have to offer.
To schedule your free in-home consultation, contact us today.