Beyond Caregiving, Companionship Connects Us All

It's easy to see the fragmentation in eldercare today.  Like the our healthcare system as a whole, so many of these services seem to be optimized around service delivery, commercial transactions, compensating for deficits -- fixing what's broken -- rather than keeping us well.  It's as if these services were designed around coping rather than caring, despite the nomenclature.  On the other hand, although it can be more difficult to see, there is plenty of eldercare that regularly takes a broader and more holistic view.  There are caregivers of many stripes who strive every day to guarantee the social, psychological and emotional wellbeing of the individuals in their care, as well as their biological needs and physical security.  It's not surprising to hear these caregivers referring to themselves not just as 'caregivers' but also as 'companions.'  Companionship is (or should be) part of caregiving and has the potential to connect us all.