The hardest part about aging into the late senior years is the loss of connection. Of Americans over the age of 65, about a third live alone. Of those over 85, that percentage jumps up to about half. Loneliness correlates with increased risk of heart disease, accelerated cognitive decline, depression, decreased immune response, inflammation, increases in stress and atypical hormone levels, and disruptions in sleep patterns. By the numbers, social isolation is as dangerous as smoking or obesity, especially for seniors. A number of studies found that socially isolated individuals were at as much as a 30% greater risk of dying within seven years, with the effect peaking in middle age.
This is why fostering connection is the most important part of providing quality caregiving services. Running errands, housekeeping, administering medication, preparing meals, and all the typical facets of caregiving are second to enabling human-to-human connection.
A recent article from Harvard Medicine asks, can a physician write a prescription for friendship? While that may not be a feasible solution, seniors can turn to one that is viable — home caregiving.
How Home Caregivers Combat Loneliness in Seniors
Home caregiving allows people to receive assistance from the comfort of their own homes. Whether someone is recovering from injury, struggling with an illness, or aging into their senior years, home caregivers are there to assist with daily tasks and errands, as well as personal hygiene and emotional support. People have connections to their homes and their personal belongings, and home caregivers enable this connection to continue.
And that’s just one small part of how home caregivers help create connection. Many home caregivers become like family members to the people receiving their care. Quality home care services come with attention to detail and care plans tailored to the unique needs of each individual. The intimate dynamic between seniors and home caregivers provides human-to-human connection that seniors may not receive elsewhere.
Home caregivers also facilitate connection between their clients and their friends and family. Sometimes seniors suffer from loneliness simply because they don’t have the capabilities to arrange time with loved ones. Home caregivers can assist by arranging outings, preparing meals for social gatherings, helping with transportation, and making phone calls, and keeping track of plans.
Another important way home caregivers reduce loneliness in seniors is by being their clients’ first line of defense. Home caregivers can keep an eye out for symptoms of loneliness and provide solutions before things spiral into depression. Sometimes, knowing that someone is watching out for you can make all the difference.
Receive Quality Home Care Services
If you are interested in receiving quality home caregiving services, reach out to Alegre Home Care at one of our Northern California locations. As a reputable home care agency, we go above and beyond with our training programs and care plans. Our home caregivers receive continual training and also specialize in providing care for seniors who have dementia. We are also the only LGBT-Certified home care agency in Northern California and understand the unique needs of LGBT seniors.
We serve eight locations in Northern California and have been providing quality home care services for over 20 years.