Many seniors find it difficult to keep up with the demands of their everyday lives. There can be so much to manage, from running errands and keeping appointments to staying connected and engaged with their community. In addition, social isolation, transportation issues, and energy levels can make even the most basic tasks seem daunting.
According to a recent study 18 million people, or nearly one-half of older adults, had difficulty or received help with their daily activities in the last month. However, with the help of a Companion, older adults can find relief from the challenges of managing their daily schedule.
A Companion can assist in various ways, including getting from place to place and offering support for special events or activities. Let’s look at how they can help make errands and appointments easier for seniors.
Go grocery shopping
Some seniors do not have a consistent shopping routine because they may no longer be able to drive themselves to the store. Other seniors may be overwhelmed by the shopping experience due to the rush of people moving about or the overwhelming size of the space if it’s a large grocery outlet type of store. These situations can make shopping uneasy due to the increased mental demands.
Having someone by your side while shopping can make the process easier and, most importantly, more enjoyable. By helping with basic shopping tasks such as pushing the cart, bagging items and carrying groceries to the car, not only does this reduce physical strain but it also makes grocery shopping a more enjoyable experience.
Attend appointments & pick up prescriptions.
Doctor’s appointments can be overwhelming for seniors, especially if they have complex medical issues or need to keep track of multiple medications. Even with access to public transportation, it can be challenging to get around. Being able to provide a supportive, safe and reliable ride to medical appointments, or pharmacy visits, can help make the whole experience less stressful. If a friend or family member is unavailable, a Companion can assist with getting to and from appointments and provide support in the waiting room.
Having someone who can accompany them to and from their appointment and be present in the waiting room before and after can help older adults feel more at ease and supported. This process of helping to remove any stress associated with appointments and pick-ups can help reduce the stigma of these tasks, making that event something to look forward to instead of something they might dread.
Buy supplies at the pet store
Companions can help older adults buy supplies at the pet store by providing transportation, navigating the store, and handling selected items. Before entering the pet store, they can suggest which items may be needed. Then, in the store, they can answer seniors’ questions about their pet’s needs and help navigate the aisles, read labels, and compare the prices of products.
Shop for hobby supplies
Companions can help older adults purchase supplies for their hobbies. Depending on the seniors’ needs, they can provide transportation to the store or help with online orders. For example, if an older adult wants to start a new craft, they can take them to a craft store and help them find everything they need.
If they are already established with their hobby but need more materials, they can help place online orders and locate the best prices. In addition, they can help gardening enthusiasts choose plants they would like to cultivate, get them safely in and out of the vehicle, and help set up the garden.
Additionally, Companions can help seniors find new hobbies that are accessible and enjoyable. They can introduce them to crafts or sports that match their interests and abilities, provide support during the learning process and offer advice on making the most out of a new hobby. Having assistance with gathering hobby supplies can make seniors feel more independent and capable of pursuing activities they enjoy.
Participate in recreational activities
Social engagement is key for seniors’ physical and mental well-being, yet many find it challenging to get out and meet new people or engage in recreational activities alone. With a Companion by their side, they will have a social wingman to support them, which can help them feel more confident because they won’t feel alone while exploring new activities and engaging with others. They can also assist with transportation to recreational activities and even possibly participate alongside the event or activity itself.
Visit with friends and family
Staying connected to family and friends is an integral part of an older adult’s life. It can help them feel supported, appreciated, and understood. Companions can assist those who struggle to stay connected with their loved ones by helping to arrange social visits from family and friends. They can help older adults prepare for get-togethers, coordinate transportation needs, and provide support during the visit.
When communication between seniors and their loved ones, or in-person visits are not possible, helping to schedule and set up video calling or texting to connect with family members who live far away can be a social blessing.
If your loved one is going to attend a family get-together, it is an opportune time to update the loved one’s emergency contact list. In one of our other blogs, “9 Things to do in the Last Week of Senior Independence Month,” we talk about the importance of updating written contact lists as well as speed dials on the loved one’s phone. While attending the event, it’s a great time to double-check all the numbers by having your loved one practice speed-dialing with their contacts standing right in front of them.
Volunteer with a community group or service organization
Companions can help seniors volunteer in various ways with a community group or service organization. They can help find an appropriate volunteer opportunity, provide transportation to and from the event, and provide support during their volunteer experience. Volunteering has been shown to offer beneficial physical, cognitive, and psychological benefits for seniors, such as social connections, improved mental health, and increased physical activity. It enhances their sense of purpose and contributes to the overall quality of life and the betterment of their community.
Attend religious services
Attending religious services is integral to many people’s faith and can provide great comfort, solace, and peace. Having a Companion to assist seniors in getting there by providing transportation so that they arrive safely and take the worry out of them making it on time.
It’s also helpful to have someone check their clothes and hair before they leave home, so they can feel confident that they look their best. Also, during post-service activities such as attending potlucks or picnics with other church members, having someone by their side can increase confidence and comfort, allowing them to get the most out of the social event.
See a movie or play
Going to the movies or seeing a play can be enjoyable for older adults and their Companions. They can plan the outing, provide transportation, and ensure they are comfortable throughout the experience. In addition, they can research movie times and theater locations, find discounts or group rates, and ensure that the outing is within the budget.
At the theater, they can go with them to pick out tickets and snacks before showtime and help them find their seats. A day at the movies or a play can be a great way for older adults to socialize, learn, and have fun. With some companionship, this experience can be even more enjoyable.
For those who are living in social isolation, a Companion can be a tremendous help. Losing the ability to travel independently can be an incredibly difficult adjustment, and having someone who can aid you through it can make all the difference.
They can offer transportation assistance in getting from place to place, and their presence alone can provide an immense comfort and support – both socially and emotionally. They help older adults stay connected with their community, allowing them to continue participating in activities they enjoy or need to do.
What’s the benefit?
Having a Companion to help seniors with their errands and appointments can make all the difference. Not only does it provide conversation and friendship, but it gives them the opportunity to stay active and participate in activities they might not have otherwise.
Improving social interaction and support while conducting these tasks can lead to a higher and more rewarding quality of life. According to the Harvard Medical School, they found that “Older adults who interacted with people beyond their usual social circle of family and close friends were more likely to have higher levels of physical activity, greater positive moods, and fewer negative feelings.”
The reason for this? “The scientists suggested that while older adults may be more sedentary when they’re with their closest friends and family — for instance, watching TV together or lounging at home — they need to leave the house to engage with other people and thus have to be more active.”
Overall the take-a-way is that activities and participation that utilize the mind and body is not only one of the keys to a more fulfilling lifestyle, but it’s also rewarding in terms of potential health benefits.
The Maxim at Home team is here to help
Do you need help with a loved one? Then consider Maxim at Home’s homemaker and companionship services. Our team of friendly, compassionate Companions takes great pride in serving people in their own community who need light assistance with daily chores, some company and conversation, or convenient transportation for errands, appointments, or trips to the store.
- Homemaker and companionship services
- Easy-to-use scheduling platform
- “Best Value” service pricing
- Only 1-hour service minimum
Sign-up in seconds to enjoy free 24hr access to our on-demand scheduling platform, where you can view our team of vetted compassionate companions.
If you have questions about our services, please feel free to call 1-844-624-5646 to speak to one of our caring service Advisors.
Levels of informal assistance, primarily from family caregivers
Boosting social interaction
Difficulty and Independence in shopping among older Americans
National Insitute on Aging
Adults report greater satisfaction with their social networks
Health and Well-being in Older Adults
Participating in Activities You Enjoy As You Age
Broader social interaction keeps older adults more active