Elder companions are often capable and compassionate caregivers who perform a variety of tasks from basic housework and meal preparation to chauffeuring their elderly charge to doctor’s appointments, to making sure they take medication. If hired through a reputable agency, then they have often gone through background checks and training for things like first aid and how to properly lift someone. If you are wondering whether you should hire a companion for your elderly parent, here are some things to think about.
If your parent is not as mobile as he or she once was, then common everyday tasks may become a struggle. Things like doing laundry and the dishes may be more than they can manage on their own, especially if they have arthritis or some other difficulty with joints or muscles. A senior who was once tidy but whose home is beginning to show signs of neglect may be a good candidate for a companion. A companion can manage those regular tasks for your parent, allowing your parent to stay at home. This can prevent you, if even for a while, from having to find a permanent care facility for your parent.
Meal preparations can also present a challenge for an elderly person. As they decline, whether mentally, physically or both, they may forget to eat or they may not keep up with a diet that has been recommended by a doctor. The physical part of meal preparation may be more than they can manage. Whatever the difficulty, knowing that there is someone there to make sure that your parents are eating regularly and are receiving nutritious meals will allow you to breathe a little easier.
If your parent is no longer able to operate a motor vehicle and you worry about their safety on public transit, you will need to make sure that there is someone to take them to doctors’ appointments and to run errands. Sometimes that is something you can help them with. But if they need assistance in other areas, a companion can help them with this task as part of his or her routine of care giving.
If your parents are no longer able to completely manager their own personal care alone– this may include things like bathing, dressing and toileting– you should consider a personal companion. You may want to be able to help your parents with their most basic needs, but if you must work, you cannot be there for them all day. You will feel better knowing that they are being well looked after.
One of the biggest problems many seniors face is isolation. When they can’t get out as often as they used to, they often find themselves home bound and lonely. People who are isolated tend to deteriorate much more quickly than those who have some companionship.
Hiring a companion for your parents can be helpful to them in a lot of ways. A companion can help them with housework and personal care. A companion can also provide company to someone who might other wise be isolated. Having a companion to help them with their daily tasks can help also prevent them from having to go into a nursing home. When your parent needs more assistance than you can regularly give them, you should consider hiring a companion.