All You Need to Know About Companion Care: Companion Caregivers, Cost, and Duties
Social interaction and companionship are the basic needs of humans, especially for older adults. Due to age or disability, it can be difficult for the elderly to do their basic tasks, including cleaning, cooking, and washing. This is where an elderly companion care service can help. They provide various non-medical home care services to older or disabled adults to make their life easier and safer while improving their health, well-being, and quality of life.
What Tasks Does a Companion for the Elderly Do?
A companion may assist seniors with various tasks, including:
- Playing and having a conversation
- Emotional support and socialization
- Basic housekeeping, including cleaning, vacuuming, and organizing
- Transportation to appointments and other activities
- Grocery shopping
- Planning and scheduling appointments and social activities
- Preparing meals
- Washing clothes
What Is the Difference Between a Companion for the Elderly and a Caregiver?
A companion provides companionship and non-medical services, including cleaning, washing, playing, and socialization. However, a caregiver provides all care services that the companion does along with basic medical services, including:
- Assisting with bathing, dressing, and hygiene
- Bathroom assistance
- Assisting with medication needs
- Measuring pulse, blood pressure, temperature, respiration, and intake and output of fluids
- Basic grooming and cosmetic assistance
- Assisting to use walkers and wheelchairs
- Helping to change colostomy or catheter bags
How Do You Get Senior Companion Care?
Follow these steps to find elderly companion services:
- Browse to the State Profiles page on the AmeriCorps and Senior Corps website.
In the “National Service Reports” section, select the state where your senior resides and click “view report.”
From the right side, click on the PDF titled “(your state) services locations” from the “Activity completed between (the selected time period)” reports section.
The PDF shows local service organizations by city and the program types available there.
You can also call senior companion care organizations in your area.
Does Medicare Pay for Companion Care?
Medicare does not pay for companion care. Generally, care recipients or their families will pay for these services. However, some insurance policies might pay for companion care, and a few states provide a home allowance depending on residents’ financial requirements.
How does One Become a Companion for the Elderly?
To become an elderly companion, you will need:
- A high school diploma or equivalent
- To participate in a training program while some companies may offer on-the-job training
- A CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) certification
How Much Does Companion Care Cost?
A Genworth Cost of Care Study has revealed that the national average cost for companion care is $18 per hour, $125 per day, or $3,813 per month, but it varies depending on the:
- Level and hours of care provided
- Provider’s reputation
- Companion’s experience
Determine your loved one’s care needs and contact your local home care agency for a clear picture of the potential costs. Contact us today if you are looking for in-home companionship for seniors.