Companion care is all about providing seniors with physical and emotional support to stay healthy and remain independent and safe at home. Home care agencies help their clients stay mentally alert by engaging them in activities that decrease isolation and keep them socially involved. This is especially important for those who live alone.
When seniors look for assistance, they typically ask a home care agency to help them with some light housekeeping or transportation, but there are so many more services that can be provided. Here are some of the activities that can be undertaken by a home companion aide:
- Light Housekeeping – vacuum, sweep or mop floors, dust blinds, wash dishes, load or unload the dishwasher, organize closets and drawers, wipe down the countertops, do laundry, strip and make beds, straighten up rooms, wipe down counters in bathrooms, collect and take out the trash, put out/bring in trash and recyclable containers
- Pets – babysit a pet, walk the dog, change cat litter, clean bird cage, take pet to groomer or veterinarian
- Transportation – drive to medical appointments, church, shopping, errands, hair or nail salons and pick up prescriptions at the pharmacy
- Companionship – play cards or games, write out holiday and birthday cards or thank you notes, read to sight-impaired clients, watch TV together, go out for a bite to eat or to a movie
- Odds and Ends – plan and prepare meals, bring in newspaper and mail, take client for a walk, assist with a prescribed exercise program, provide medication reminders
Companion services help make a senior’s life more enjoyable and manageable. They allow a client to continue to do the things they like to do while those becoming a burden can be handled by the aide. Senior companions are important to family members because they can report any physical or emotional changes that may be occurring with their loved one, especially for those who do not live nearby. Finally, perhaps one of the most valuable services a companion aide can provide is just to be someone who listens, providing camaraderie and peace of mind to make a senior feel they have a friend who cares.