Social isolation is a growing problem in our society across all age groups, but is felt most amongst elderly people living alone.
Compared to a few decades ago people are living further away from their families and working longer hours, so they spend much less time together than they used to. The number of people living alone is also higher than it has ever been before, meaning more people are becoming lonely and socially isolated.
For elderly people, these social isolation issues are compounded by the fact that their social networks are smaller, and health issues often mean they are not able to be as socially active as they once were. Age UK reports that more than 2 million people in England over the age of 75 live alone, and more than 1.4 million of them say they are often lonely and regularly go more than a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member.
Loneliness can easily lead to depression and a serious decline in physical health and well-being, especially in the elderly. Companionship care, such as that provided by Trinity Homecare, is an effective and enjoyable solution to social isolation and loneliness for elders living alone.
How does companionship care work?
Companion care is a home care service that involves a professional carer regularly visiting an elderly person in their home to spend time with them, providing company and emotional support.
Companionship care is very flexible to the needs of the client – it could be as little as one or two hourly visits a week, all the way through to full-time live-in care. Live-in care is when a professional carer lives in the home with the elderly person so they can provide full-time care and support.
How can a companion help?
There are two main aspects to companionship care: emotional support and practical support. Here are some of the ways that companionship care can help:
Companionship care for emotional support:
Companionship care focuses on providing emotional support and friendship. A companion can be a friend and trusted confidant, someone to share life’s ups and downs with. Helping lonely elders to enjoy meaningful friendships and remain connected to their community.
A companion is a friendly face who can play games, encourage hobbies, share meals, swap stories, take a walk, go for a coffee, or simply sit and enjoy time together.
Companionship care for practical support:
Companion care also offers support for practical day-to-day living such as attending appointments, running errands, household tasks such as laundry and cleaning, preparing meals, grocery shopping or collecting prescriptions.
Companion care addresses the challenges of living alone for the elderly, allowing older people to remain living comfortably in the home they love while getting the personalised attention and support they need to thrive. Companionship care helps to decrease anxiety, depression, and feelings of loneliness and isolation.
The benefits of companionship care
Improves physical health
Having a regular visitor who encourages hobbies, exercise, physical activities and social outings has great benefits for physical health. When a senior becomes lonely and isolated they tend to become very sedentary, which compounds existing physical and mental health issues. A companion is a friend who can share activities and promote exercise and movement.
The emotional and psychological benefits of companionship care cannot be underestimated. To receive a friendly visitor to the home can make a lonely elderly person’s day. Having someone to talk with, share experiences and laugh with is incredibly powerful at staving off loneliness, depression and anxiety in elders.
The regular interaction of companionship care stimulates the mind and encourages memory recall through storytelling, games and general interaction. This is incredibly helpful in slowing the progress of cognitive decline.
Provides practical support
As well as providing friendship, a companion can help around the home with domestic tasks such as cleaning and laundry, fetching groceries and preparing meals. Support in the community is also provided, from accompanying to appointments, social events or assisting on a long journey. Short regular outings are encouraged where appropriate. Trips to the local park, visiting friends or going for a coffee bring so much joy to an elderly person’s day.
Supports all the family
Companion care also offers numerous benefits to family caregivers. It gives them more time for other responsibilities such as work and family duties, easing the emotional and logistical challenges that come with caring for an elderly loved one. It’s also a great solution for any family caregiver who requires some much-needed respite. Whether it be a regular break for every week when the companion carer visits or temporary companionship care to cover full-time for the family caregiver so they can take a break from caregiving.
Gives peace of mind
Companionship care provides peace of mind not only to the elderly person living alone but also to their family. It’s especially helpful for families who do not live near their older loved ones. A companion carer can keep an eye on an elderly person’s welfare and provide feedback to the family, keeping them informed and letting them know if there are any issues or changes in their loved one’s life.
Types of companionship
Companionship care is incredibly flexible. It is designed to give your loved one the support they need, on their terms. Companionship care with Trinity Homecare can take several forms depending on the individual’s needs:
Temporary companion care
If your loved one requires companionship temporarily, Trinity Homecare can help. If your loved one is convalescing after a hospital stay or an existing carer needs time off, for example, a Trinity carer can plug the care gap, ensuring your loved one has all the support they need.
Companion care can be provided for as little as 1 hour per week all the way up to several visits a day, depending on the individual’s preferences. Set times and days are decided by the client, so if your loved one wants a companion to visit the bingo hall with or have a lunch date every week, companion care is the perfect solution.
Companion care is most popular amongst elders who do not require high levels of health support, such as those with complex health conditions. However, at Trinity Homecare we recognise that everyone needs and deserves companionship, no matter what their health status. Our live-in care service involves a carer living in the home with the elder so they are on hand to provide care and support full-time. At Trinity Homecare, our holistic approach to care means providing practical and emotional support while encouraging independence and autonomy.
Companionship with Trinity Homecare
If you or your loved one is living alone and struggling with loneliness, companion care is the perfect solution. At Trinity Homecare, we have provided the highest quality of home care throughout England for over 25 years.
We are very proud to have been awarded the highest rating by the Care Quality Commission for our ‘Outstanding’ services. This puts us in the top 3% of home care providers and means you can rest assured that you are receiving the best home care for your loved one.
Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help. We offer a free no-obligation enquiry service, including a free at-home assessment, so we can completely understand your needs and preferences. Call our friendly team today on 0207 183 4884, available from 8 am until 5.30 pm, 7 days a week. Alternatively, fill in our online enquiry form.
How can I arrange companionship care?
Arranging care with Trinity Homecare is easy, simply get in touch and tell us about your situation. We will arrange a free at-home assessment to better understand your needs. We will then provide you with advice and recommendations for care, with clear transparent pricing and information.
How quickly can you implement companionship care?
We can implement care quickly, sometimes within 24 hours for urgent situations, such as hospital discharge or in the case of emergency respite care. Get in touch with us immediately and we will work hard to implement care as quickly as possible.
What’s the difference between companionship care and personal care?
Companionship care is designed to alleviate loneliness and social isolation and focuses mainly on emotional support. Personal care focuses on providing physical support such as bathing, toileting, dressing, eating and assistance to take medication. One care solution can be provided for both