Companionship is a basic human need during any stage of life, but especially for the elderly. They still need to feel loved, cared for, and important. Having a person who is meaningful to them helps them feel this way. Listed below are the many advantages that companionship for elderly adults provides.
Sense of Purpose
When the elderly have companionship in their lives, it helps with providing a sense of belonging. This is essential for staying motivated to do daily tasks and for feeling that they are worthwhile. Feeling a purpose may help those who are past a certain stage in their life remember that they are still needed, wanted, and invaluable members of society.
The pace of life will often change the older one gets. Those who are younger or have families are always moving and going, and this movement will often provide a sense of purpose. However, with age comes a slower lifestyle and a variety of unique challenges. Some of their concerns include mental and physical wellness and the continual loss of friends and loved ones. Whether it’s one companion or multiple, they can not only help them navigate through what’s happening but also provide a much-needed awareness of their purpose.
Connection to Others and Community
It is true that not every elderly person has a need to feel connected and part of a community, but many do. Elderly companionship enhances connectivity and positive feelings, which is essential for those who are older. Having a connection to a community helps increase opportunities for social interaction and fun activities.
Companionship for the elderly helps increase community connection by:
- Providing a resource to someone who may know what events are going on
- Providing additional motivation for them to attend events
- Reminding them that they are able to make a valuable contribution to their community
- Having a person who understands their needs assist them through community affairs
- Not having to attend activities within the community alone
Elderly companionship can provide all of these wonderful perks.
Boosts Positive Self-image
Self-acceptance and a positive self-image are part of the recipe for being happy. Obtaining this standard isn’t always easy, but it becomes a more simple task when surrounded by positive, loving people. When the elderly are encompassed by those who lift them up and help them like themselves, it boosts the likelihood of a positive self-image. This is advantageous for all areas of health improvement.
Companions for the aged can:
- Say positive things about the elderly
- Challenge negative thinking
- Help them see the good in life and in themselves
- Teach them a new talent (which aids in boosting their self-image)
- Show kindness and love
- Remind them to be thankful for the joyful things that are happening
All these practices can help enhance the way the elderly see themselves, and help them view what’s going on with a better perspective.
The issue of being lonely can create a variety of other problems, or add on to problems that the elderly already have. For example, these emotions have the potential to create criticism or other hard feelings they may have about themselves or their life in general. Looking through the lens of abandonment makes it tough to stay positive and optimistic. This is not beneficial for mental (or sometimes physical) health or anyone, especially the elderly.
A major benefit for companionship is eliminating the feeling of isolation. Elderly companions are able to make sure that the person they are caring for has some form of socialization, a listening ear, and a helping hand. The power and positive impact having a friend has on a person is not easily understated.
Lowers Health Risks
There have been multiple studies that have shown how companionship for the elderly lowers multiple health risks. Elderly companionship helps with wellbeing by:
- Encouraging walking or other forms of simple exercise
- Helping with memory and cognitive functions
- Lowering the risk for heart problems
- Lessening amounts of anxiety and depression
Depression has a tendency to majorly affect those high in age, especially those who have other health complications or limited abilities. Feeling sad or anxious often accompanies other health-related issues, which may amplify the symptoms. If an elderly person has a knowledgeable companion, they may be able to help alleviate the pains and anxiety they feel about it.
Becoming an older member of society will have unforeseen challenges and obstacles. To those experiencing these new hurdles, having a companion can help in a variety of ways. It will help with finding a sense of belonging, decreasing loneliness, and lowering health risks. Having a friend in later years also boosts a positive self-image and helps provide connection within the community.
These benefits make a huge difference and can change the lives of the elderly.