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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 Lynchburg, Virginia and Surrounding Areas

    Lynchburg is an independent city (meaning a city not belonging to a county) located in central Virginia, near the cities of Roanoke, Danville, and Charlottesville. Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the city is situated approximately 180 miles southwest of the nation's capital, Washington, D.C. Principal highways in the city include U.S. Route 29, 221, 460, and 501.

    Incorporated as a town in 1805 and as a city in 1852, Lynchburg got its name from its founder, John Lynch, who was granted a charter in 1786 by the Virginia General Assembly for a town on 45 acres of his own land. The 19th century saw prosperity for Lynchburg, a center of manufacturing and commerce whose principal industry was tobacco. The onset of the 20th century brought a change in Lynchburg's economic base from tobacco to manufacturing. A large number of factories opened, many of which remained cornerstones of the economy for many years, allowing the city to grow and diversify. Colleges, libraries, and housing developments slowly populated the town over the years, to the point where today's Lynchburg is a vibrant community with a strong industrial base and is a regional center for retail and commerce.

    Known as the "City of Seven Hills" (College Hill, Garland Hill, Daniel's Hill, Federal Hill, Diamond Hill, White Rock Hill, and Franklin Hill), Lynchburg was frequented often by Thomas Jefferson, who maintained a nearby residence (Poplar Forest). The city is home to several colleges and universities, including Liberty University, established in the 1980s as Liberty Baptist College by televangelist and Lynchburg resident Jerry Falwell.

    Lynchburg Arts, Culture, and Entertainment

    Lynchburg's rich history and unspoiled beauty make it a natural setting for a wealth of historical landmarks, cultural events, and recreational activities. Some of the more prominent are as follows:

    • Academy of Fine Arts: Houses both an active studio theatre and an historic theatre undergoing renovation
    • Amazement Square, The Rightmire Children's Museum: Four spacious floors of interactive exhibitions, workshops and educational programs
    • Anne Spencer House and Garden: Honoring the internationally acclaimed poet who was the only black woman and the only Virginian included in the Norton Anthology of Modern American and British Poetry
    • Daura Gallery Museum: More than 1,000 paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints
    • Legacy Museum of African-American History: Explores all aspects of local African American history and culture
    • Liberty University Theater: Located on Liberty University's main campus
    • Lynchburg Museum/Old Court House
    • Maier Museum of Art
    • Miller Claytor House
    • Old City Cemetery
    • Sandusky Historic Site & Civil War Museum
    • South River Meeting House
    • The James River Heritage Trail

    Although Virginia does not have a major league sports team, the city of Lynchburg is rich in baseball history. Minor League professional baseball has existed here since 1894, when the Lynchburg Hill Climbers brought baseball to the city. The team, which played in the Virginia League until the league disappeared in 1943, underwent some name changes during that time, becoming the Shoemakers, then the Grays, then the Senators. The team moved to the Piedmont League in 1943 and remained there until 1955 as the Lynchburg Cardinals. After a few more league changes and name changes, the team settled down in 1995 as the Lynchburg Hillcats of the Carolina League, where they remain to this day. The Hillcats are a class High-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.