Senior Care: The Benefits of Senior Caregivers

8571496124_de720e3b5aWhile caregiving at any age is undoubtedly noble work, important aspects of an aging persons social life can disappear if they’re receive care from someone decades in age their junior. In other words, it can be kind of hard for a 27-year-old health care aide to have a good conversation with a 70-year-old with early onset dementia. That’s why caregiving organizations are seeing success in pairing ailing seniors with caregivers who are of a similar age, reported the CBC.

Here’s an example of how it works: Organizations such as Seniors Helping Seniors in the U.S. and Seniors for Seniors in Canada send older caregivers, say a recent retiree in good health, to the home of an elderly person who needs help with daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning, errands and medication management. And since the person receiving care is of relatively the same age as the caregiver, the two can converse and swap stories about a similar history, providing much need socialization for the ailing senior. This can help ward off loneliness and, in some cases, even ease the symptoms of depression.

“I think that for the older people who are giving the support, it is reinforcing their purpose in life, that they are socially engaged, Janice Keefe, the director for the Centre for Aging in Nova Scotia told the CBC. And people who are socially engaged and active are healthier and they have a longer life.

Able to use a lifetimes worth of skills and knowledge to help others, these so called junior-seniors also benefit from fulfilling post-retirement employment on their own terms. This is a win-win, benefiting both those giving and receive the care and society in general.

What are some other benefits to older caregivers can offer? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments.

Physicians Choice Private Duty currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of geriatric care options and helps families maneuver through the challenges of the system. 

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