Across Canada, a growing number of seniors are stepping back from their communities, families, and friends, and finding themselves lonelier than ever. Social isolation often affects seniors without support systems as well as those who have recently experienced major life transitions including retirement, the death of a spouse, or downsizing. Fortunately, a number of Canadian organizations have developed community programs targeted at building the social connections that are vital to seniors’ physical and emotional well-being.

Empowerment through assistance

Seniors for Seniors, a division of Spectrum Health Care, creates meaningful connections for the elderly by providing unique, non-medical companion care services. All services provided are framed in the context of companionship— whether it’s a Driver Companion to drive your father to appointments or a Drop-In Companion to have a cup of tea with your great-aunt, the service focuses on building a friendship between the client and the companion.

Here are three reasons why Seniors for Seniors companion programs are effective:

1. They provide retired seniors as companions

Despite the simplicity of companionship, many families are unable to provide the level of companionship loved ones require. About 2 in 5 seniors need assistance to get through everyday tasks, such as getting dressed, shopping for groceries, and attending medical appointments. Fortunately, home care agencies like Seniors for Seniors, are able to provide long-term or short-term companionship services to busy families. Having mature companions assist with these tasks allows the elderly to feel supported yet independent, while providing family members with peace of mind.

2. They adopt a proactive approach to care

For seniors, successful companionship occurs when the caregiver can form a genuine friendship based on commonalities. Where there is friendship, there is openness. The elderly can benefit greatly from working with Seniors for Seniors companions who they may come to consider as friends, and who are trained in First Aid, as well as dementia, and Alzheimer’s care. Through regular contact with senior clients, mature companions are more likely to notice subtle changes that might indicate a decline in physical or cognitive function and will be able to bring this to the attention of the senior’s health care professional before the problem worsens.

3. They enable seniors to co-manage their well-being

Companionship has been shown to have a significant effect on the emotional, mental, and physical state of seniors. It encourages them to connect and maintain relationships, which can minimize the risks of negative health behaviours and improve social skills. More importantly, senior clients feel like they're part of the solution, as mature companions may collaborate with seniors to develop new routines that fit their lifestyle—dramatically reducing the risk of social isolation.

Providing companionship is one of the greatest gifts you can give. For more information on Seniors for Seniors, call 1-844-422-7399 or visit