Caregivers Provide Companionship

Senior couple playing puzzle with care

Research indicates that companionship may be helpful for seniors who have become less physically and socially active. Gentle Shepherd Home Care offers a variety of in-home senior care services including companion care.

Over time, older adults tend to become less physically and socially active. In some cases, it’s just a natural part of aging. Other times, it may be due to illness or injury.

According to the National Institute on Aging, this often leads to an increase in physical and mental health risks including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Cognitive decline

In this article, we’ll explain more about what companion care is, the benefits of companion care, and how to choose a companion care provider.

What is Companion Care?

Companion care involves engaging the client in mental, physical, and/or social activities, as well as monitoring safety inside and outside of the home. They may also assist with activities of daily living, but most of the time is spent keeping them company and making sure they are safe.

While there are no specific certification or training requirements, most companions have first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation training. Most of the time, companions who work for home healthcare agencies are also trained in topics such as dementia.

The most common tasks performed by companion care providers include:

  • Light housekeeping
  • Conversation/friendship
  • Transportation to medical appointments or running other errands
  • Bathing assistance
  • Exercise assistance

What is the Difference between Companion Care, Home Health Aides, and Home Health Nurses?

While some of the duties between the three overlap, there are some differences. For example, a home health aide provides protection and companionship but focuses more on assisting with activities of daily living. In some cases, a home health aide may also offer medication reminders, as well as administer medications. The differences between a home health aide and a companion are important for insurance purposes.

A home health nurse performs medical treatments such as wound care, IV medications, and injections- in addition to the duties mentioned above.

What are the Benefits of Companion Care?

Companion care can provide seniors with the social stimulation they need to avoid the feelings of depression and loneliness that come with isolation. Companions encourage the individual to participate in the activities they enjoy as well as ensure that they have contact with another human on a regular basis

Factors to Consider When Choosing Companion Care

If you are looking for companion care for yourself or a loved one, it’s important to consider a few different factors, including:

  • Personal needs of the senior
  • Qualifications/certifications of the companion
  • Availability of the companion
  • Cost of companion care

Personal needs of the senior

The primary focus of companion care is social interaction and protection. However, in some cases, the senior may need help with bathing, dressing, and personal care. The best way to ensure a good match- especially if you’ve never hired a caregiver- is to work with an agency. A care assessment can be performed to determine the best companion for the client.

Qualifications/certifications

While there are no qualifications or certifications required for companion care providers, it does help if they have basic first aid and CPR training. If working with an agency, it’s important to make sure that they are licensed to provide in-home care.

Availability of the caregiver

Unfortunately, there is a shortage of home care providers in most areas of the United States. Therefore, you may find that it’s easier to find a companion care provider that is available during the hours you need.

Cost of companion care

The cost of companion care varies based on the cost of living in the area. The national average is around $20 per hour.

Let Gentle Shepherd Home Care Provide Companion Care

Gentle Shepherd Home Care offers a variety of in-home senior care services in and around Colorado Springs. We are a locally-owned elderly care provider, which means that we can provide you with a more personal touch. Our company was founded from a personal need to find caregivers for our own loved ones. Therefore, you can be sure that we only hire the best. Schedule your care assessment today to find out how we can help you with companion care and other care services you or your loved one may need.

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