When faced with decisions about senior care options, many aging adults and their family members struggle to weigh the benefits and challenges of assisted living communities versus professional companion care at home.
There is so much to consider, from safety to social considerations, and from financial concerns to mental health and wellbeing. The pandemic has heightened the challenges of senior care decision-making. Now families must also weigh social isolation and safety protocols as new and important factors.
More and more American families are faced with these decisions every day as the Baby Boomer generation ages. The population of adults over 65 jumped by more than a third (34%) in the past decade, according to 2020 Census data.
If you are considering senior care options for yourself or a loved one, you may already have a list of pros and cons. Feedback from Angel Companions clients indicates that there are surprising benefits you may not have factored in.
Stronger Social Relationships
Social connection has often been thought of as one of the benefits of assisted living facilities, which foster peer relationships and community events that prevent social isolation.
With that said, the pandemic has changed social connection within long-term care communities. There are often limits on gathering, social distancing, and staffing shortages resulting in fewer events. On the other hand, home companion care connects seniors not only to their caregivers but also to family and friends. The ability to keep up long-lasting relationships is an important touchpoint for maintaining mental health as we age.
Greater Peace of Mind
We all want our loved ones to be safe, secure, and well cared for. Professional companion caregivers provide an extra set of eyes and hands that give us assurance that our senior’s day-to-day needs are met.
That may explain why the risk of falling among the elderly is reduced when a home healthcare companion is present compared to within care facilities. One in three seniors will fall this year, and falls can result in serious health complications and hospitalization.
Connection to the Outside World
Taking a stroll through a local park, sitting on a bench at a shopping center watching passersby, or planting flowers in a window box can increase quality of life and provide positive mental health benefits.
For those living in senior care communities, however, enjoyable activities like these can be hard to come by, with limited staffing for transportation and lack of accessible grounds for many residents.
Home companion care connects seniors with the world beyond their four walls, allowing them to spend more time outside at home and in their community. Whether it’s driving to a class at the local library or sitting on the porch as children walk home from school, the connection to people and nature that home companion caregivers provide is worth factoring into decision-making.
Do you wonder whether professional home care may be the right solution for your family’s needs? Take our care survey and find out: Does Your Loved One Need Help?