What Does a Companion Caregiver Do?
If you notice an aging loved one struggling with chores at home, missing meals, letting the fridge go empty, battling loneliness, or socializing less often, you may want to consider companion care.
Companion caregivers help older adults continue to age in place at home safely and comfortably by performing essential caregiving duties to maintain or even enhance their quality of life. Some of these senior care responsibilities include:
- Emotional support and socialization
- Meal preparation
- Errands and shopping
- Appointment and activity scheduling
- Communication with care team
Depression and social isolation in seniors are very common, so concerned families can rely on the dedicated emotional support and socialization companion caregivers offer to older adults.
A companion caregiver can also help provide extra social interaction for seniors who are unable to see their family members frequently. Companion caregivers can serve as friendly acquaintances to go on walks with, talk about hobbies, do favorite activities like board games or card games, and provide a familiar and cheerful face.
Housekeeping duties can pile up quickly and become overwhelming, especially for seniors with mobility limitations. Companion caregivers can help lighten your loved one’s housekeeping load and ensure they don’t strain themselves reaching for a top shelf or bending down to clean under a table.
A companion caregiver can assist with daily household tasks such as sweeping or mopping the floor, clearing and cleaning the kitchen counters and table, running the laundry, or washing dishes.
Companion caregivers will make sure your senior doesn’t miss any meals and always has a full pantry and fridge. Companion caregivers can help with food prep, or they can cook full meals and package them in the refrigerator for your loved one to eat on another day.
Many older adults are also instructed by their doctors to follow special nutrition regimens, such as low-fat or low-sugar diets. Companion caregivers can help your senior understand and maintain these dietary recommendations.
Companion caregivers will ensure to-do lists are handled appropriately, especially if your senior has difficulty remembering to pick up necessary medications on time or purchase food and personal care items regularly.
A companion caregiver will provide the level of assistance your loved one needs, whether it’s pushing a cart, mailing an envelope, picking items from hard-to-reach shelves, carrying bags, or running any requested errands.
Companion caregivers can help your set up and maintain a calendar of all essential activities as well as simply give verbal reminders the day of an event.
A companion caregiver can also schedule necessary appointments such as haircuts or doctor visits and can help your senior keep in touch with friends.
Many older adults have difficulty traveling to and from appointments or errands, especially if they are no longer able to drive. A companion caregiver can assist your senior loved one by providing transportation or schedule public or private transportation.
While companion caregivers are not able to provide medical assistance, they can monitor your senior’s health and well-being and relay any worrisome changes. If your loved one falls, starts to miss meals, or has a personality change, a companion caregiver can request medical assistance immediately or inform you about a potential concern to communicate to a health professional.
Companion caregivers do not assist with dressing, bathing, toileting, or medication management. For seniors who need assistance with these tasks as well as companionship, consider a Visiting Angels’ personal caregiver.
Our Visiting Angels care coordinators are available to discuss your loved one’s needs during a free home care consultation.