Companion care may mean different things to different people. This type of care may amount to household help such as meal preparation, light cleaning, shopping and errands, or it may also be used for security reasons. Many seniors who live alone and have issues with mobility, hearing or with their health may hire companion caregivers in order to be there in case of an emergency such as a fall or injury. Companion care may also mean respite care for family members or can mean temporary care for seniors who have had an illness or a surgery that they need to recover from. Companion caregivers may also simply come to your loved one’s home to offer them friendship and conversation.
Why do Seniors Need Companion Care?
Seniors get lonely just like everyone else, and if your elderly loved one lives alone and away from the rest of their family they may be lonely quite often. Many seniors have gone through the death of their spouse or have lost their spouse to divorce, and may not have children or grandchildren in the same area. If they have lived in the same house for many years, then they probably are reluctant to leave it and move closer to their living family members. Unfortunately though, this means that they may grow lonely without a support system nearby. If this sounds familiar in your own family, then your loved one may be the perfect candidate for a companion caregiver. Companion caregivers can do just about anything non-medical. Often they are not certified in any medical field, and simply just enjoy the company of people. They can help your loved one with a variety of tasks around their home or simply provide them with companionship and friendship.
Who is the Right Caregiver?
Caregivers come with many different attributes and abilities. Medical caregivers are often nurses, certified nursing aids, or medical technologists who either work for a caregiving company or contract their services out to people by themselves. Companion caregivers can be anyone from yourself to your neighbor. Companion caregivers are not able to dispense medicines, cannot help with wound healing, and are generally not able to do any type of medical care. They are not certified in any medical care, and often are not covered under your loved one’s health insurance. However, companion caregivers do offer companion care to seniors who wish to simply have a friend. They also offer companion care to seniors who do not necessarily need medical help, but who do need help with household chores, personal care, running errands, cleaning, meal preparation and many other non-medical tasks.
Finding a non-medical caregiver to work as a companion caregiver should not be too difficult. Often, local communities have caregiving services and companies available to seniors and community members who may need them. While these companies tend to focus more on medical caregiving, they often have non-medical caregivers on staff as well. Another way to find a non-medical caregiver who would like to work as a companion caregiver is to look in your local newspaper. Many non-medical caregivers work for themselves and place ads in newspapers and on job boards to find new patients and clients. By calling a few of the ads that you see you can start an interview process and find the perfect caregiver for your loved one. Another option you may have is to ask family members or friends of the family. Anyone can become a companion caregiver, so if you have a family friend who lives in the same area as your elderly loved one, then they may be interested in the job.
Companion care companies also exist in certain areas and can help you find the perfect companion caregiver for your loved one. These companies try to match caregivers to patients based on the patient’s interests, likes and dislikes. They screen all of their applicants carefully to ensure that your loved one would be safe with them in their home and to ensure that they will work well with elderly individuals. Going through a company like this will allow you to have a peace of mind when it comes to your loved one. It also can take the stress off of you because you will not have to do any of the leg work yourself of finding a caregiver and determine the caregiver’s payment and taxes.
Companion caregivers offer a wide variety of services based on the needs of your loved one. Along with friendship, they may also be able to complete light housework such as vacuuming, mopping, dusting, and laundry services. Plus, they could help your loved one with meal preparation including grocery shopping, chopping vegetables, preparing the meal and eating the meal. They may also be able to help your loved one run errands if they are unable to drive or should not drive due to safety concerns. Another job of companion caregivers is to provide respite care for primary caregivers. If your loved one has a team of primary caregivers that come to their home to help them with medical or non-medical issues then they may have times when they need a break or a vacation. During these times a companion caregiver can step in and provide care for your loved one.
As seniors age they may need to have a caregiver come to their home for a variety of reasons. Whether they need medical care or non-medical care, caregivers can provide them with a variety of services that improve their everyday lives. If your loved one lives alone and is away from their family, then they may enjoy having a companion caregiver come to their home each day or each week. These caregivers can provide them with friendship and companionship to help them get over their loneliness. Companion caregivers may also be able to help your loved one with other services such as cooking or cleaning so that they can relax in their twilight years.