Companion care is a non-medical in-home setting care service to senior adults who have disabilities. The purpose of companion care is to assist with activities of daily living (ADL’s) while promoting socialization and emotional support. A companion such as a caregiver or family member can help perform ADL’s by assisting with ambulation, light housekeeping, meal preparation, etc. This holistic approach assists with the individual’s physical health and focuses on their emotional and psychological well-being.
Companion care is different than Personal Care. Personal care refers to hands-on care such as bathing and toileting while companion care focuses on activities of daily living (ADL’s) and social needs.
The root of companion care is treating the senior in all aspects of life, as being a friend or a helping hand. The companion creates a vital role in elevating the senior’s health and quality of life. According to the American Psychological Association, more than 42 million Americans identify as lonely and common for older adults living home alone. While a recent study of adults aged 50 to 80 found that “one in four [people] said they feel isolated from other people at least some of the time, and one in three say they don’t have regular companionship.” When loneliness becomes a lifestyle, it can affect and increase the seniors’ conditions and quality of life. Concerns that may arise with loneliness and affect the senior’s health include; high stress levels, feelings of depression or anxiety, risk of heart attacks and stroke, lower levels of longevity, and increased likelihood of poor habits.
However, involving the adult in activities such as playing games, reading, walking, promoting conversations, etc., can promote a sense of trust and belong. Companion care lowers the risk of loneliness and encourages friendship, comfort, and self-confidence.