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Published On: Fri, Aug 19th, 2016

Why Companion Care is Crucial for Seniors

Seniors are at a high risk of social isolation, but despite the prospect of living alone, the vast majority of seniors would prefer to remain in their own homes. Family members often feel guilty that they can’t spend as much time with an aging relative as they would like. However, there are 2 things to remember when you’re faced with this predicament: 1) every little bit counts and 2) you don’t have to do it all alone.

Evening and Weekend Visits – Visiting your elderly loved one as often as you can will mean a lot to them, and it goes a long way in helping alleviate social isolation. Stop-in visits over the week don’t have to take long, but they’re a valuable reminder that you’re there. On weekends and holidays, there are plenty of activities that you can do with older seniors in Toronto, even if their mobility is restricted. Museums like the ROM and the AGO are all fully wheelchair accessible if that’s an issue. The StopGap Foundation has been making shops, cafes, and restaurants easier to access for everyone across the city, especially in older neighbourhoods like Kensington Market and Little Italy where buildings often don’t have suitable wheelchair access. Even if you’re not limited by a wheelchair, pick someplace with plenty of restrooms and easy terrain.

photo courtesy of Greenberg Health

photo courtesy of Greenberg Health

Companion Care – If you live too far away to visit daily or, because of your own career and family, you can’t give up all the time you would like to, home care assistance can help. Personal support workers are not just there to cook meals and change the sheets; they can be important companions. When you work with the right companies, like Toronto’s Mavencare, you get access to personal support workers who will play games, talk, and accompany their clients on outings.

They can help with some light gardening or a stroll through the park, or a trip to the neighbourhood coffee shop and their old favourite restaurant. They can also help with doing the grocery and clothing shopping. Playing games with someone is also a proven way to mitigate cognitive decline as a cause of Alzheimer’s. If you want more for the beloved senior in your life, look into companion care in Toronto from Mavencare.

Huggler Robot – A little off the beaten track, scientists in Singapore have recently developed a new eldercare technology in the form of the Huggler Robot. This automated stuffed animal comes with preprogrammed sounds meant to create a soothing emotion in patients with dementia or depression. It responds similarly to a real pet, but without the difficulties of a live animal. It was developed as an alternative to pet therapy and supplement to companion care. The Huggler Robot also comes equipped with microphones, speakers, and smartphones to assist in an emergency. Researchers in Singapore have also been using it to help diagnose dementia.

While the Huggler may not be the most practical option for most families, companion care from a reliable source like Mavencare can make a real difference. A personal support worker can be a valuable companion, especially when distance keeps you from visiting as often as you would like.

Author: Anwar Hossain

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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