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    What Is Companion Care?

    Companion care is used to describe the companionship and help with errands and light household chores, typically provided in your home by a paid home companion.

    Home companions allow family members or others who might care for you on a regular basis to have needed breaks.

    Besides spending time with you, home companions will often:

    • Run errands and shop for you
    • Drive you to and from doctors’ appointments
    • Perform light housekeeping and cleaning
    • Prepare or help you to prepare meals
    • Give you medication reminders

    Companion care is typically for seniors who are healthy and independent enough to stay in their own homes. Home care agencies provide companion care, but companion care can also be provided by relatives, friends, neighbors or others on a paid or volunteer basis. Companion care can also be provided to residents of assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

    Companion care is different than non-medical home care, which helps seniors who need help with routine tasks that they used to be able to do on their own such as bathing, grooming, mobility, and managing and taking their medicines.

    What Is Companion Care Like?

    As you age and have a harder time getting out of the house, you may begin to feel isolated and even lonely. A home companion will visit you on a regular basis and spend time with you. They can also help you to get out more by taking you to the grocery store, doctors’ appointments, or to social events.

    If you don’t feel like going out, they will usually run errands and take care of your shopping for you. They will also help you with housekeeping, laundry and cooking. It really depends on what you need and want.

    Home companions do not provide medical care, although they can do things like remind you to take your medications and help you to do exercises and stay fit.

    Is Companion Care Right for Me?

    Consider these statements below to determine if they describe you:

    Independence

    • I am still relatively healthy.
    • I like having my own living space.
    • I like being independent.
    • I do not want to leave my home.
    • I prefer to live on my own, but do not have a relative or friend who can stay with me all the time.

    Daily Living

    • I need help getting in and out of the bathtub or taking a bath or shower.
    • I need help getting dressed.
    • I need assistance with personal grooming.
    • I get my medicines mixed up or can’t remember when to take them.
    • I can no longer cook or need help preparing meals.
    • I can no longer drive or can only drive very short distances.
    • I no longer feel safe in my home.
    • I feel isolated in my home.

    If all or most of the Independence statements apply to you, but not the Daily Living statements, then Companion Care may be a good option for you.

    If most or all of the above Independence and Daily Living statements apply to you, and you do not need regular nursing or medical care, then consider these options:

    If most or all of the above Independence and Daily Living statements apply to you, and you ­also need regular nursing or medical care, then consider these options:

    What to Expect from Companion Care?

    Services

    Home companions will spend time with you and do things with you that you enjoy doing, such as playing games, going for walks, or taking you to family and social events.

    Their services may vary, but will typically include:

    • Running errands
    • Shopping for you or taking you shopping
    • Driving you to and from doctors’ appointments
    • Light housekeeping and cleaning
    • Preparing or helping you to prepare your meals
    • Reminding you to take your medication

    Costs

    Home care agencies typically charge for companion care based on an hourly rate. Some also require a minimum number of weekly or monthly hours.

    Since companion care is a non-medical service, it is not covered by Medicare. The care is usually paid for by the senior receiving care or by their family. Some long-term care insurance may also cover or partially cover companion care services.

    According to Genworth’s 2016 Cost of Care Survey, the National Daily Median cost of in Home Care (also known as Homemaker Services) in the United States is $125 per day.

    Introduction to Chapel Hill, North Carolina and Surrounding Areas

    The North Carolina town of Chapel Hill is located in the north central portion of the state on the Piedmont Plateau, about 30 miles outside of the state capital of Raleigh. The town, together with the cities of Raleigh and Durham, comprise the three legs of the so-called Research Triangle, named for a research park located between Durham and Raleigh. Chapel Hill is home to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), the oldest state-supported university in the United States.

    Incorporated in 1819, the town was originally created to serve the University which had already been established before the end of the 18th century. In fact, the original map of the town shows 30 parcels of land wrapping around the northern, western, and eastern fringes of the campus. At the town's center is a hill on which once stood a Church of England house of worship called the New Hope Chapel. Although the Chapel is no longer there, the town's name serves as a reminder of its former prominence.

    Events and Points of Interest in Chapel Hill

    Chapel Hill is the site of the Festifall Street Fair, an annual October event which typically draws upward of 15,000 visitors. This arts and music celebration features live bands, international foods, numerous children's activities, and over 100 of the most creative crafts people and artists in the area. Another local October event is the Hargraves Fall Carnival, featuring entertainment and games. Local attractions include the Morehead Planetarium, one of the nation's original planetariums once used as an astronaut training site for the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. The North Carolina Botanical Garden, located in Chapel Hill, is the largest natural garden of its kind in the southeast. Other popular Chapel Hill attractions include the following:

    • Coker Arboretum
    • Ackland Art Museum
    • The Chapel Hill Museum
    • Stone Center for Black Culture and History
    • Kidzu Children's Museum
    • Charles Kuralt Learning Center
    • Orange County Historical Museum

    Fans of collegiate sports couldn't find themselves in a better place than Chapel Hill. The University of North Carolina Tar Heels have won 37 team national championships in five different sports. The University competes in NCAA's Division I-A and participates in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Its teams are perennial powerhouses in women's soccer (18 national championships since 1981), men's basketball (5 national championships), men's lacrosse (3 national championships), and women's field hockey (4 national championships). The Tar Heel baseball team is also a consistent winner, most recently making it to the Championship Round of the 2006 College World Series. Notable alumni of the University's athletic program include Michael Jordan and Mia Hamm, among many others.

    Pro sports are not too far away either. Major league hockey resides in the nearby city of Raleigh, home of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes. Minor League Baseball can be found only minutes away from Chapel Hill in the nearby city of Durham, where the Durham Bulls play. The Bulls compete in the International League as the Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.