Categorized | Family Care

Companionship helps elderly stay healthy

By Doug Peck

Whether they live with their older children or by themselves, many seniors are alone for much or all of the day. It is very easy to fall into habits that, over time, can have a major impact on health. It doesn’t matter if you are in your 60s, 70s or 80s, developing healthy habits can improve both physical and mental health.

One of the keys is motivation. Most of us don’t like to exercise alone and it is easy to procrastinate. You want to look for companions who are active and who will motivate you, and who enjoy working with other seniors. Whether it’s walking, exercising or playing games, the companion should participate in all types of activities that stimulate you physically and mentally.

If you have to exercise, it is much more fun to do it with a friendly companion than by yourself.

Exercise is important for a number of reasons but helping to prevent falls is a major reason for seniors to do it regularly. Falls are major issues for the elderly and the right exercises can improve strength and balance.

Another important factor in staying healthy is eating right. A good companion will help with grocery shopping, selecting the right foods and preparing healthy meals.

It is also simply much more fun to prepare and share a meal than to eat by yourself and regular grocery shopping assures that you also have a good supply of fresh fruits and vegetables on hand. Start baking again with a friend. The mental aspect of reading a recipe and measuring ingredients is just as important as the physical aspect of moving around the kitchen.

You may not think of it as a health risk, but lack of transportation can have a major impact on health. Many elderly patients don’t see a doctor as often as they should or miss doctor’s appointments because they don’t have a ride. You want someone who will always wait at the appointment with you and sometimes, with patient’s permission, sit in with you during the end of the appointment to take notes to make sure you didn’t miss anything the doctor was saying. You will also want one who will take you to the pharmacy and make sure you don’t run out of your medicine.

Just three things to help you stay healthy: Find a good companion to exercise with regularly; prepare healthy meals together and make sure you don’t miss any doctor’s appointments or medicines.

Doug Peck, CSA is a Certified Senior Advisor and the owner of Seniors Helping Seniors of Metrowest. He can be reached at 508-485-1765. Visit his website at 


Leave a Reply