Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most. (Mark Twain)
The quote is amusing but hides a far deeper truth and that is how important the mind to the individual is. This post is not talking about psychiatric or neurological conditions, but the mind in an everyday setting.
There are consequences of age on the mind that can be dramatic and awful. As people grow older the social circle grows smaller and chances for communication become less and less. As bodies become frailer, travel to the store or the cinema is reduced and again the opportunity to just to talk is reduced.
The lonely mind is prone to depression and depression can make people feel alone. It is a vicious circle of reclusion and seclusion. Beyond simply the loss of opportunity to communicate the possibility for stimulation becomes lost as well. When these chances are not afforded the mind becomes barren, both psychologically and intellectually.
Loneliness is the ultimate poverty (Pauline Phillips)
Loneliness impoverishes those who suffer from it. It impoverishes heart and soul as well as mind.
Nobody should be lonely, and this is why for those aging in place, companion care is such a vital offering. A huge part of companion care, indeed perhaps the most important part, is keeping the client stimulated and mentally agile.
It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well. (Rene Descartes)
At Lucky Dove Home Care this is the main aim of companion care. We find out what our clients enjoy and a large part of the interaction between carer and client is based on that. This can be walks in a local nursery looking at plants or playing two-handed bridge. It can be discussing the Stingrays or cooking together. All of these activities stimulate and are based on interaction with communication.
We say elsewhere on this site that, “we understand the significance of companionship and the idea of simply being there and spending time together.” Just as importantly we understand the effect and value of companionship, too. We know that companionship is interacting and not silently sharing a physical space with an uncomfortable silence.
No one is a failure who has friends. (It’s a Wonderful Life)
It is a terrible place to be, feeling friendless as friends move away, pass away and sometimes just drop away. As the world contracts, part of us seems to die. The circles in our lives become smaller and our minds atrophy like an unused muscle.
In time the Lucky Dove companion will become a friend but will also be a care-filled companion with every action and thought based on the client’s need. Part of the skill involved is to make this seem natural as though it is an action that has its only purpose companionship. And that is true enough, companionship is the only purpose. At Lucky Dove, we strive to give the purpose additional value.
There are bigger pictures in every case. As an example, companionship can guide towards independence. As paradoxical as this may sound, it is not. Consider the case of a patient recovering from a mild stroke and going through the experience of making coffee again. Frustration, laughter, achievement. This can be blended into companionship care without making it seem like part of a recovery exercise. It’s all about caring about people and not just for them, That is a Lucky Dove mantra.