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What is an Elder Care Companion?

Companion care generally involves working with a generally healthy elderly individual who requires assistance in some Activities of Daily Living or ADLs. Assistance is non-medical in nature. An elder care companion does not generally become involved in the more detailed aspects of patient care.

As the job title implies, the primary focus of an Elder Care Companion is providing emotional support and companionship to their elderly client. In addition to their regular duties, they help the elderly client to live as independently as possible. Elder caregivers provide companionship services and help keep clients mentally healthy and alert by having conversations with them, playing games (crossword puzzles, scrabble, cards, etc.) and assisting them to be as physically active as is possible. The provide invaluable peace of mind to the elderly client's family members.

A companion may do light cleaning for the safety and comfort of the patient - not heavy full housekeeping. They clean and/or straighten a client's room, kitchen, and bathroom, may do the client's laundry, and change bed sheets and pillow cases. Companions may also plan meals (including special diets), shop for food, and prepare meals. The companion will assist the client with activities outside the home, including driving to markets and doctor appointments. They may interact with other family members, particularly by reporting changes in the client's condition to the family member.

A companion will have many of the same characteristics of a home health aide, absent training and/or experience with patient care. A companion, unlike the home health aide, does not have as physically demanding of a position as the client is generally more mobile and healthy. The companion's role is more of a confidant and friend, relieving the loneliness of an older adult living alone, and assuaging the concerns of family members about the overall well being of the client.

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