When you aren’t driving anymore and don’t have friends or family visiting often, it can be very isolating. Depression can set in, which can also lead to a general feeling of apathy about your health.
But what can you do about it?
You can hire “friends.”
If you want to remain in your home and are in relatively good health, companion care might be the answer. Giving you the social stimulation you need, these caregivers can play a game of cards with you, join you for a walk, or simply talk and listen to you. While they aren’t trained to give you medical care (that’s home health care) and generally don’t provide personal care such as bathing or eating (that’s home care), companion care can provide much-needed social engagement, not to mention, these caregivers can even lighten your load around the house.
What can you expect from a companion?
- Play cards, board games, scrapbook
- Read aloud to you
- Take walks with you or exercise
- Pay bills
- Take incoming phone calls
- Grocery shop
- Prepare meals
- Do light housekeeping and small repairs
- Help care for pets
- Find transportation to medical appointments
- Help with planning and keeping appointments
- Remind you about medications
- Watch out for your safety
- Give your family valuable peace of mind!
How can you find a companion?
You can never be too careful about bringing a stranger into your home, particularly one you’ll trust with your checkbook, medication and safety. Look for companion care through certified home care and hospice agencies, which are regulated by the federal government. There are also many non-certified (and non-licensed) agencies that will provide these nonmedical home services. Independent contractors, who are not attached to a company and usually not licensed, can also be hired directly
Before you bring the companion on, find out if the company does background checks, drug tests, etc. on their employees and insures and/or bonds them. And be sure to always check references.
Share with us your experiences with companion care.