The Benefits of Daily Phone Calls to Seniors
Most seniors want to continue living in their own homes instead of relocating. Here’s how an elderly phone service can give family members peace of mind.
An elderly phone call service provides a daily touchpoint to remedy feelings of loneliness and check in on senior’s health and wellness.
Of the 50 million Americans over the age of 65, roughly 14% live alone. The odds go up for women over the age of 75, nearly half of whom live alone.
Aging in a familiar space is often good for mental health, especially when you consider the taxing nature of relocating to a new place. However, there are a few downsides to aging alone. Social isolation and inaccessible care in the event of an emergency are common concerns.
Read on to learn the benefits of using an elderly phone service for your loved one.
Daily Phone Calls to Seniors
If you are the primary caregiver for an elderly person living alone, you may experience stress or anxiety on the days that you don’t have time to check-in. Many elderly phone services offer daily telephone reassurance calls and check in services.
Telephone Reassurance Programs
Telephone reassurance programs for seniors are designed to ensure that an elderly person is up, cognizant, and physically able to answer the phone. As a primary caregiver, you can ask for your own notifications from these services. After completing the call, the phone service will let you know whether or not the recipient answered.
Schedule the daily phone call for a time that the senior in question is frequently available. Many people choose to schedule a daily calling service in the morning. This helps to ensure that your loved one has gotten out of bed and begun their day.
Medication Reminder Phone Calls
Daily phone calls also serve as a check-in to see if seniors are taking their medication, grooming, and eating enough to maintain their health.
Medication reminder phone calls are not unlike telephone reassurance calls. They occur every day at a specific time. However, these calls are set up for the specific purpose of reminding seniors to take important medications.
Most medications need to be taken at the same time every day for optimal performance. Keeping track of a medication schedule becomes complicated when a senior takes multiple medications, especially if some are daily and some are not.
Inform the elderly phone service about the full list of prescriptions and supplements your loved one is taking. Provide any additional instructions, such as whether or not a medication must be taken with food. This gives the third party all of the information necessary to help seniors stay on track with their medications.
While some elderly phone services provide minimal conversation, companionship calls are set up to last longer. A companion caller will ask how the senior’s day is going and encourage them to chat. Over time, the caller and senior can build a relationship of trust and intimacy.
In 2019, Time Magazine reported that one out of every three seniors in America suffers from loneliness. Loneliness isn’t just a state of mind. It can lead to increased health and cognitive decline, including the exacerbation of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Having regular, meaningful conversations can lessen feelings of loneliness. For some seniors, a phone call may not be enough to ward off social isolation. Note that social isolation involves a physical separation from others while loneliness is a feeling or perception.
Social isolation is eliminated through face-to-face communication. For seniors who live alone, at-home personal care can greatly reduce these negative feelings.
Automated Calls vs. Live Calls
What’s the difference between an automated calling service and a real person? How do you decide between the two options?
Automated calls are designed to react solely to whether or not the call is answered. If it is, all is well. In the case of an unanswered called you will receive your own automated call to alert you that the senior did not answer.
If there is no answer, the person listed as the senior’s secondary caregiver may also receive a call. In the event that no one answers, the elderly phone service may alert the police department. Local authorities will then go and physically check on the senior.
Live phone calls may operate in a similar way. However, that added personal touch can make a huge difference for the recipient of the calls. Of course, companion callers are always real people who can respond with authenticity.
Is There a Free Elderly Phone Service?
If money is an issue, don’t worry. Depending on where the senior lives, they may have access to free elderly phone services. Many police departments, volunteer programs, and churches offer wellness calls for seniors that are free to their local community.
If you do not have access to free elderly phone services, consider looking into low-cost monthly plans. Groups such as CareCheckers and the CARE senior calling program provide check in services for seniors.
It is also worth noting that the federal government provides some financial relief for low-income seniors who are in need of a phone service. If the senior in question is at or below the 135% of the Federal Poverty guidelines, they qualify for a government-assisted phone and internet plan.
Home Care for Seniors Living Alone
Checking on the elderly every day is important for their health and safety, especially if they live alone. Consider signing up your loved one for an elderly phone service.
Never underestimate the power of a meaningful conversation. Daily phone calls help maintain a senior’s medication schedule and can improve their mental health.
For more hands-on care for seniors who live alone, consider at-home care. Professional caregivers provide help for seniors living alone that may be burdensome for families in the long-term.
If you live in Richmond, Charlottesville, or Charleston, Commonwise Home Care may be the right fit for your loved one. Call our Care Team today at 434.202.8565 to learn more about our premium home care services.