Andrew Mastrandonas

We are all busy but our elder family members deserve human companionship in additional to care services for better quality of life. How will your family deal with your future aging? Planning is key.

Your Parents (Grandparents or Aunts/Uncles) Deserve Better!

Your Parents (Grandparents or Aunts/Uncles) Deserve Better!

‘‘No man is an island’. As one gets older and the number of family members, friends and relatives dwindle, companionship becomes more of an invaluable asset than simply a basic need for the elderly. Nowadays, more children are living in different states or different countries, occupied with their careers, their own families, and daily chores, leaving an empty nest which often leaves our parents alone to fend for themselves.

Do you think social media and smart gadgets are the answers to replace companionship for the old folks in this new age of information technology such as Skype and Facetime? We probably should think again by looking at the importance of companionship for elderly citizens.

Studies show that older adults who are lack of companionship and feel lonely are at greater risk for diseases or having medical incidents, such as stroke, heart disease, poor immune functioning high blood pressure, and degrading cognitive abilities, such as a greater risk of memory loss. In fact, there is also evidence that people with signs of being lonely could be at risk of death or suicide.

Companionship is fundamentally essential for the elderly to avoid them ending up with anxiety or depression, to fill their latter days with cheerfulness, as well as maintaining and preserving their cognitive abilities.

Now that we know that companionship is equally important for the elderly as well as for the younger generations, the next question to ask would be how do we go about finding the best companionship for them. For senior citizens who are independent, they usually like to meet another elderly person to reminisce about “the good old days,” to share their family’s problems, gossip, to play a game of chess or just to ‘yum cha’ for a few hours.

For senior citizens who are less independent, and are in a nursing home or in their own comfort zone at their own homes, caregivers are the ones who will be most suitable to accompany them and take care of them on a daily basis. According to Pillar (www.pillarcare.com), a company that specializes in elderly care, a certified, trained and professional caregiver must be trustworthy, have a clean criminal and service record, be physically and mentally healthy, reasonably young and able to communicate and understand the needs of the elderly.

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The rapport that the caregiver provides whether for a short or long period is essential for the elderly person. Even spending one to two hours going for a stroll, having a cup of tea, buying medicine or simply listening to them, can brighten the day of an elderly person.

Few people know that there are trained caregivers--in between a maid and a nurse--who are trained to come to your home and care for your elderly person in their “comfort zone,” whether for a few hours, all day and every day, or they can even stay in your home and look after your senior loved one.

Our parents, and all the elderly really, have done a lot for us without asking anything in return. As a member of the family, we see it befitting that we ensure there are sufficient companionship and care during our absences by providing the appropriate and trained caregivers--not maids--to help them better enjoy their “golden years.”

Editor's Note

Your older parents and other family members may have little choice if they didn’t plan in advance. The responsibility for caregiving and companionship falls fully on younger generations. However, you have a chance to plan in advance to ensure a better quality of life during your future retirement.

Advance planning means more than just saving money in retirement accounts like a 401(k) or IRA. You need to address the financial costs and burdens that come with getting older. With longevity comes the higher risk of needing long-term care services and supports. These costs can drain savings and adversely impact income and lifestyle.

Quality care addresses not only the physical needs of an individual but the human and mental need as well. The right caregiver understands this balance. The right caregiver also allows family members, including the adult children, the time to be family. The family can concentrate on being loving and supporting and not be stressed with having to balance the responsibility of being a caregiver with that of their own career, health, and family responsibilities.

Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance gives you the resources to access your choice of quality care, either at home, adult day care centers, assisted living facilities, memory care, or the traditional nursing home. All of this quality care without draining assets.

The best time to act is prior to retirement. Safeguard your savings and reduce the crisis management otherwise placed on your loved ones with affordable Long-Term Care Insurance. Start your research by discovering the current and future cost of care in your state and finding any tax incentives that may be available to you.

Find your state on the LTC NEWS MAP: https://www.ltcnews.com/resources/state-information

Find a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist here: https://www.ltcnews.com/contact

Plan now for a successful future retirement for mind, body, and finances.

About Andrew Mastrandonas

Andrew Mastrandonas, Co-founder & CEO of Pillar (www.pillarcare.com), Asia’s leading home care company. He is also Director of JPE Group, Asia's Most Comprehensive Care, Recovery & Senior Living Solutions organization. For more information please visit www.jpecare.com. This article was reviewed by Dr Lim Geng Yan (M.D).