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The Importance of Companionship: Experiencing the Non-Medical Side of Care

The Importance of Companionship: Experiencing the Non-Medical Side of Care

December 17, 2021

Now and then, we all need time to ourselves to recharge and relax. But what can feel like a luxury for some can be a burden — or even a danger — for others.

A 2020 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine offers a glimpse into a sad truth for many older Americans: at least 25% of adults 65 and over are considered socially isolated, while more than 40% of people ages 60 and up said they feel lonely. The report also examines what happens to people faced with isolation and found that it can often have negative effects on their health and quality of life.

At Charter, we’re committed to providing compassionate care that addresses all your needs, including the social side of life. After all, your state of mind and happiness can have a huge impact on how you feel physically.

That’s why we’re proud to offer companionship services that go beyond the medical side of care, ensuring those at risk for isolation have someone they can trust to be there when they need them. Whether you’re visited by our private-duty caregivers or hospice volunteers, there’s plenty to be gained from experiencing the joys of companionship.

Caregivers offer a variety of tasks for Charter patients that help them with day-to-day life, including light housekeeping, personal assistance with showers, help getting dressed, completing errands, or just being there to go to lunch or have a conversation.

“Caregivers help with daily living tasks that our patients feel they can no longer do alone or at all, giving relief to them and their families,” explains Erika Bayes, Charter’s private duty department manager. “They give our patients back the ability to do things that they once loved and enjoyed.

“I don’t think people realize how much of an impact a caregiver can make in someone’s life,” Erika says. “Most of the time when people think of health care, they think of nurses or nursing assistants, and don’t even know about the non-medical side of things. Our caregivers work hard to be there not only for patients in the home but also for clinicians since they spend so much time with the patients. It makes such a huge impact on the level of care we can provide to our communities.”

The outcomes of companionship can be incredible to watch unfold, Erika notes. “We have seen many patients come through our program and go from being depressed and unable to care for themselves to thriving in their home situations and having a new light and motivation in their lives.”

Throughout her time with the Charter team – first as a caregiver and now as a scheduler – Nateece Tovar has had the privilege to witness firsthand the positive effects of companionship. During her visits with patients in their homes, she formed meaningful bonds with the people entrusted to her care that stay with her as grateful memories.

“I cared for my patients with my whole heart and became very close to all of them. Each of them was unique in their own way and added a highlight to my day, whether it was the way we would laugh at silly things or how we greeted each other in the morning or said goodbye,” Nateece shares. “You learn their personalities as they learn yours. Sometimes you don’t always have good days, but you make the best out of any day you get to spend with them.”

The benefits of spending quality time together aren’t one-sided, either. Nateece found that during her time as a caregiver, she often got as much as she gave.

“My time with all my patients was very rewarding,” she says. “To know that a task as simple as cooking them breakfast could make their whole week – these become precious moments. It’s the little things that mean the most as a caregiver.”

To learn more about Charter’s private duty care and companionship services, click here.