“The days are fine, it’s the nights alone I don’t like!” Says Bill, who lost his wife 6 months ago. “I miss Gladys, because we would watch Wheel of Fortune and play cards after supper. Now the evenings are so quiet!”
Many of our clients have family living in the same city, but they have children of their own, two jobs, a dog and so many other extra curricular things happening in their lives. It is a breath of relief for families to have someone else provide the companionship and friendship a care aide or companion can bring to their parent.
Providing a companion to sit with Bill for a couple of hours in the evening can complete his life. Like Bill told us, he has music, walks, bus rides, outings with his friend, and at least one or two activities per day, but having the extra at night would complete his life.
Often the senior is isolated even in their own community. They may live in assisted living in their own apartment, however the only contact they may have with each-other is at meal times. June was too weak to go to her meals for a few weeks and had her meals delivered. She said, that no one just stops in to see how she is doing, and she can be days without seeing anyone.
Bill has a family friend, Betsy that takes him out during the day. He remarks “I don’t know what I’d do without Betsy (he has 3 daughters). If Gladys hadn’t arranged that Betsy look out for me after she passed, I just don’t know what I would have done.”
Betsy not only takes Bill to doctor’s appointments, but sees that his dentures are reworked so he can chew his food, picks him up for a drive when she takes her 5 kids on after school activities such as violin and piano lessons, and goes on long drives on sunny days. One day she told the office, “Bill’s with me now for a gourmet lunch – hotdogs!” Because she is surrounded by children under 12, they call him Grandpa Bill, and his heart is so warmed by the attention.
The senior doesn’t rely so heavily on the family to provide those same pieces of assistance, meaning that when family visit it’s a fun time to share with children and grandchildren.
Providing a companion to our lonely seniors is so rewarding. Not only can we provide that companionship, but we can go shopping, to the library, visit the doctor or dentist, arrange for the garburator to be fixed and flip the fuse that operates the stove.