The latest information from the Administration on Aging indicates that about 13.3 million people 65 and older (29%) live alone. Almost half (46%) of all women ages 75 and older live by themselves. What’s worrisome is that, as people get older and more vulnerable, their odds of living alone increase. Senior isolation can have many negative effects on loved ones.
The facts on senior isolation are disturbing:
- Physical health issues are most prevalent among elderly who live alone
- Living alone increases the risk of mortality (no one to notice injuries or illnesses)
- There is a correlation between loneliness and high blood pressure
- Lack of social interaction can decrease cognitive function
- Isolation can contribute to conditions such as depression
- Seniors in isolation can make poor health decisions like avoiding exercise, meals, and medication
- There are connections between isolation and senior abuse
- LGBT seniors are more likely to suffer social isolation
- Physical and geographic isolation can contribute to senior isolation
Isolation can have serious effects on anyone, but senior citizens are especially vulnerable. Being cut off from friends, family members, other older adults, and caregivers can dramatically decrease a senior’s quality of life and happiness. If you’re afraid of isolation impacting your elderly loved one, act before it’s too late. Refer your loved ones to professional long-term senior care to shed light on what otherwise might be a dark future.
The Solution: Companionship Services for Seniors
The facts and statistics on senior isolation are scary, but they don’t have to foretell what will happen to your elderly parents or other loved ones. Solutions like Companionship Services at Senior HomeCare of Tucson exist to eliminate senior isolation and give them happy, fulfilled lives in old age. We recently sat down with Tina Gillette, the founder of Senior HomeCare of Tucson, to discuss her company’s solution to senior isolation: companionship.
To Tina, companionship is about much more than simply having someone there. It’s about being a real friend and confidant to seniors who are missing this important relationship in their lives. Tina says, “We sit, we talk with the client, we get to know them. Building trust from the start is of paramount importance.” Tina says her team helps many families whose relatives are dead set against having someone come in. Caregivers take clients to lunch or out for excursions and show them they are there to be companions. Nine times out of 10, clients who are reluctant at first love having the companions around.
Tina tells one heartwarming story of how the company’s companionship services reunited two friends. One client, who had received a terminal illness diagnosis, reconnected with her best friend after years, thanks to Tina’s companionship and coercing. According to Tina, “The two friends looked at each other, grabbed each other’s faces, and cried.”
Another story involves a client who cared greatly for the “nice things” in her house, such as the good crystal. One night, Tina convinced the client to break out the good crystal for pizza and wine – creating a night the client cherished. It was perfect timing, as the client passed away less than a month later. Tina says, “I couldn’t think of a better time to use that ‘good crystal.’ Those types of memories can’t be replaced.” Tina and her team make a real difference in the lives of their clients through companionship.
Arrange Companionship Services for Seniors You Love Today
At Senior HomeCare of Tucson, our in home caregivers genuinely love what they do and that shows in everything they do. Spending time with clients isn’t just their work – it’s their passion. Companionship through Senior HomeCare involves outings and fun activities such as going to the movies and the Desert Museum, as well as company right at home. Whether your loved one wants to watch a ball game, play cards, go to favorite shopping malls, or simply enjoy the company of someone who listens and cares right at home, Senior HomeCare of Tucson can provide.
Tina encourages clients and client families not to wait to arrange companionship services. As she puts it, “Companionship is the first stepping stone to good, solid home care.” Starting earlier rather than later can transform the rest of a senior’s life. Companionship can involve taking a client to church, doctor’s appointments, or anything the senior desires. Prevent senior isolation and all the negative effects that come with it with one-on-one companionship and rewarding opportunities for socialization. Learn more about how Tucson senior services in the nearby areas from Senior HomeCare of Tucson can help by contacting us online or at 520-355-4787. To learn about each of the communities we serve, please visit our Service Area page.