The Importance of Companionship for the Elderly (& How to Help)

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®

Companionship keeps an elderly person’s mind and body active, helps avoid mental health issues, and leads to new memories and experiences. Learn more about getting seniors and the elderly the companionship they need.

importance of companionship

Companionship keeps an elderly person’s mind and body active, helps avoid mental health issues, and leads to new memories and experiences. Learn more about getting seniors and the elderly the companionship they need.

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Everyone needs emotional support and friendship, especially as we grow old. Yes, as the children grow older, leave for college, get married and start their new lives, our lives start becoming smaller and smaller.

If you were used to a big and full house, you might feel alone and depressed in a smaller house without anyone. Well, as you grow older, you need a lot of companions, as much as you needed in your younger years.

This article is part of my “Importance of Elders” series that features 50+ articles on keeping seniors and the elderly happy and healthy so that we can have them in our lives longer. See the entire series here.

Why Is Companionship Important For Seniors?

To keep their minds active.

Especially those suffering from memory loss problems such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Living alone with these memory illnesses will definitely make things worse so it’s a good idea to have a companion.

To avoid depression and anxiety.

It’s not strange that as we grow older, we might start feeling depressed as we reminisce about our younger years. Well, to avoid depression or anxiety from setting in, companionship for seniors will come in handy.

To remain active and independent.

If seniors are left alone, they are likely going to hibernate and avoid stepping outside altogether. As such, companionship allows the elderly to get outside, exercise and avoid staying indoors.

To make new memories and experiences.

Making friends in old age is important. Seniors can gain new experiences and bond with new people who make their old life a thrilling experience.

How To Make Sure Seniors Receive The Companionship They Need

Now that you understand why seniors need companionship, here are the best ways you can make sure that your senior loved one gets the companionship they need.

1. Offer Assistance With Daily Living Chores

As a companion, you can offer a senior loved one the assistance they need with daily living activities.

For instance, you can help them with standing up or sitting down, lying down or walking around. If you are taking care of a loved one who has limited mobility, knowing that there is someone there to help them with these chores makes their life easier.

2. Transportation

You can offer companionship care to an elderly person by offering transportation services whenever they need them.

For instance, if they are attending social events, visiting the doctor, going to church or simply want to get out of the house, provide them with the transportation services they need. If they want to go and buy groceries, make sure you drive them there and help them pick the right groceries for their needs.

For elderly people who are no longer able to drive, having reliable transportation can be life-changing for them. As long as it’s someone they trust and know, their life will become easier and effortless.

3. Help With Grooming, Hygiene And Bathing

With time, older adults are likely going to find it harder to take care of themselves. Whether it’s taking a bath, grooming themselves or doing other hygiene tasks, they might have a hard time remembering what to do and the right time to do it.

As a companion, you should be able to help them with these tasks. Make sure they have proper baths, they are well-groomed and have the best assistance whenever they need it. They will appreciate all the help that you provide.

4. Help With Laundry And Housekeeping

As a companion, you can provide help with laundry, housekeeping and other light duties around the house.

If you are taking care of a senior loved one who still wants to live in their own home, make an effort of keeping the home clean and safe for them. They will appreciate waking up to a clean house and going to sleep in a comfortable place.

Even better, they will appreciate that you took the time to take care of them effortlessly.

5. Help Them With Proper Dieting

You should help your elderly loved one with preparing healthy meals. If they are having a hard time preparing meals or serving them, take the time to sit down and have a meal with them after preparing.

They will appreciate having the company at the dinner table. Even better, they will love delicious meals from someone who takes care and loves them.

Final Thoughts

Everyone needs someone to love them and take care of them. Use these tips to help you become a better companion to an older adult today.

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Scott Grant, CSA®, ATP, CRTS®

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional
Certified Rehab Technology Supplier (CRTS®)

I have been serving seniors and the elderly for over 20 years as a medical equipment and custom wheelchair specialist for a regional medical equipment company. I am also a lucky dad to four awesome daughters and grandfather to three pretty terrific grandkids. When not helping older adult improve the quality of their lives, I enjoy early morning runs and occasional kayak trips. I am also a self-admitted nerd who loves anything from the 1980's. Learn More

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