The world of senior care is vast, which means that there are a lot of terms that you might not think about until it’s time for you to think about it. One of those phrases is companion care and that’s the term that we’re going to be looking at today.
It’s just a fact of life that we all age. Time moves in a linear progression, which means that at some point everyone that lives long enough gets old and becomes someone that may or may not need some form of senior care. Some people spend their lives thinking about this, while others reach that age and don’t think about it until they need the help.
Regardless of if you’re approaching that age or you’re reading this as a 19-year-old that wants to make sure that they’re ready for the future, knowing what these words mean can ensure that you’re ready for anything when you reach old age.
So, today we’re going to be exploring this specific concept. Hopefully, by the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll know enough about companion care to know for sure if it’s going to be something that you need.
Picking out what kind of senior care you need can be hard, and it requires you to ask yourself a lot of the hard questions so you can be sure that you’re making the right choice, alongside a lot of research so you can be sure you know what you’re talking about.
So, without further ado, let’s dig in.
Table of Contents
What is Senior Care?
Before we get into the specifics about what companion care is, it’s good to make sure that all of our readers understand what senior care is in general. This might seem a bit excessive to some, but since this article is being written for anyone that wants to read it, it’s good to assume that you know nothing on this subject.
Feel free to skip ahead if you already know what senior care is though, far be it from us to make you sit through an explanation of something that you already know about just so you can learn more about a specific part of that thing.
For those that continued reading this section, senior care has a lot of different names that you might know. Elderly care, elder care, etc. This kind of care is a specialized type of care meant to care for senior citizens at different points of their journey.
There are a few types of specific senior care, for example:
- Hospice is a specialized kind of care meant to help people that are terminally ill feel more comfortable.
- Assisted living.
- Assisted living is a kind of in-patient care that is meant for seniors that can no longer live on their own.
- Adult daycare.
- This is a kind of care meant for seniors that can still live on their own but might need some help with daily tasks.
- Home care.
- This kind of care is kind of like having an adult nanny. In a lot of cases, home care is done by a family member but there are professionals that do home care, as well.
There are subsets of each of these kinds of care as well, making it a very diverse section of healthcare. Some parts of senior care have no sort of medical care whatsoever and simply exists to help senior citizens do their daily tasks around their home.
The vast majority of senior citizens have some form of senior care, whether it’s done on the books by a professional or just having their relatives come by and help them out off the books. There’s nothing wrong with this, as we age simple tasks get that much harder.
You can also run into some highly-specialized facilities, such as memory centers that are long-term, in-patient facilities that provide a lot of care for people that have major memory issues.
Companion Care: A Brief Explanation
Alright, so we’ve covered the basics and we all at least have a fundamental understanding of the types of senior care that are out there. So, what exactly is companion care? You’ve probably already gathered that it’s a type of senior care.
It would be a little odd for us to have multiple paragraphs and a bulleted list about senior care if it had nothing to do with the subject, so that’s the part that we’re going to start with so we can tie the last section neatly together with this one.
Companion care is a type of home care that provides no sort of medical help to speak of. It is a type of senior care, but senior citizens aren’t the only people that receive companion care. It’s also common for adults with some sort of disability to have companion care.
It’s actually not uncommon for people that are not seniors to get any sort of senior care, depending on their disabilities. Many disabled adults are in senior care and are entirely too young to be considered senior citizens in any respect of the word. Just like there are many people well into their elderly years that still don’t get senior care.
You may be wondering what exactly someone providing senior care would do if they don’t provide any sort of medical assistance, and they actually do quite a bit. For example:
● Making sure that bills are paid.
● Grocery shopping.
● Clothing shopping.
● Scheduling doctor’s appointments.
● Picking up prescriptions.
● Bathing the client (if necessary, as you can imagine most people prefer to do this themselves.)
● Dressing the client. (with the same caveat as the last bullet)
● Checking the mail.
● Sending out mail.
● Moving furniture around.
Some companion care employees do less than this, but this is about what the maximum workload looks like. It really depends on what the client is able to do for themself, the companion care provider is just there to fill in the gaps for the client so they can still have a comfortable life.
Some companion care providers just hang out and wait until the client needs them to do something for them every once in a while. That’s the opposite side of the spectrum from the list we provided, and most people end up needing some level of assistance between the two.
What Kind of Care is Right for You?
Determining what kind of care is going to work best for you is kind of a tricky thing. You have to factor in a lot of things in order to be able to accurately answer this question and end up getting the help that you need.
Fortunately, if you need something like hospice or an assisted living facility, your doctor will let you know. In fact, oftentimes doctors will be the ones to suggest any of this kind of care, which takes a lot of the pressure off of your shoulders.
That being said, doctors aren’t always the ones that make this recommendation. Maybe you’re the one that had the idea, or maybe your children have been getting on your case about it because they want to make sure that you’re getting taken care of properly because of your own limitations.
So, what is one to do when the burden of this choice falls directly on their shoulders? Well, there are a few things that you could try to make sure that you end up exactly where you need to be for the level of care that you require:
- Visit your doctor.
- Even if your doctor isn’t the one that recommended it, you could always try talking to them to figure out what they think would be best in their professional opinion. They’d be very likely to give you a great recommendation for this.
- Ask yourself the hard questions.
- You’re aware of the limitations that your body has at this point in your life. What kind of care would you need to ensure that your quality of life doesn’t plummet? That will tell you what you need to look for in your senior care plan.
- Do research online.
- If you’re reading this article, you’re already doing this one. Doing research on the internet can get you a better idea of what kind of care would work best for you, whether you just need someone around to open the pickle jar sometimes or you need a full staff to keep an eye on you.
Getting this right can help you make sure that your quality of life will stay consistently high right up until the very end, and that’s important. Humans are creatures of comfort and you deserve to live a life of dignity, even if your body is unable to work the way that it used to.
Get the Help You Need
There are a ton of specialists out there that can help make sure that you’re feeling as good as you possibly can for as long as they possibly can. You have no shortage of options when it comes to senior care, which is great news if you find yourself needing either a little or a lot of support these days.