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Has a silent killer crept into your loved one’s home? How Companion Services is saving lives

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many new things into our world that have now become common place; face masks, social distancing, and new protocols when in public.  With many elders electing to forgo their typical outings, and loved ones distancing themselves in an effort to protect them, an unintended but devastating consequence is unfolding; a silent killer has crept into many homes of the aging unnoticed. That silent killer is loneliness.

According to the Harvard Gazette, loneliness has been shown to be as dangerous as smoking and alcoholism.  Additionally, a person’s risk of dementia is increase by 40% if they are experiencing loneliness.  Conversely, a 2010 study performed by Julianne Holt-Lunstand with Brigham Young University found that older adults with stronger social relationships had a 50% higher likelihood of longevity than those with weaker social relationships.  

The data is clear, loneliness is deadly and companionship is critical to survival.  

Thankfully, loneliness is reversible and so are many of the effects if you catch it in time.  

To fix the problem, we must first understand it.  Unfortunately, adult children or loved ones often mean well, however, they may not understand that a weekly phone call or occasional visit isn’t enough.  The human spirit longs for regular, meaningful connection.  We long for companionship. That’s why many older adults are opting to move to a senior living community where this type of companionship is readily available.  However, there are many seniors who don’t want to abandon their home where they feel comfortable.  Instead, they are turning to companion services provided through home health agencies to ensure they have someone to engage with on a daily basis, keeping loneliness and its devastating effects at bay, while still staying in their home.

What are companion services?

Having someone to talk to is a huge part of companion services, but that’s not all. It can also mean having someone to offer a partnership and daily support with the little things that matter so much.  It is a highly customizable program that can offer many things, including the sample items listed below.

·        Stimulating conversation

·        Exercise

·        Games and puzzles

·        Running errands

·        Light housekeeping

·        Laundry

·        Meal preparation

·        Shopping

·        Share hobbies and interests

In a world where loneliness has become the norm, consider how companion services can help bring back joy to those you love.  Contact PineCrest’s Home Health team at (936) 633-1165 to learn how companion services can make a difference.

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