Your Guide to Companion Care – Forbes Health


In general, there are two types of supportive care: home care and residential care. However, attendant care doesn’t have to take place only in private homes, according to Hannah Karpilow, who has more than 40 years of experience providing attendant care and is based in the Bay Area. Seniors who reside in skilled nursing communities, group homes, or assisted living communities may also receive supportive care, usually as an additional paid service that families can choose for their loved one in the community. where they live. A companion working with a client who lives in a care community can be hired through a home care agency or individually – check with the community to see if they have specific guidelines for social workers.

Companion care at home

Many seniors choose to hire a companion so they can stay home safely. For home care, the companion comes to the home according to a fixed schedule. Until the companion becomes accustomed to the client’s routines and preferences, they are often provided with a to-do list. If there are other people living in the home, the duties of the companion should only relate to the person receiving care – the companion is not responsible for performing tasks or activities for or with others people living in the house, says Karpilow.

Companion care at home

In some cases, an elderly person must have a companion who lives with them, such as a person with dementia who cannot be safely left alone or a chronically ill person who experiences sudden medical emergencies. A live-in companion may perform the same duties as a companion who does not live in the home, but may need to be available at night to help the client to the bathroom or to redirect a client who becomes confused and wanders .

It’s important for live-in companions and their clients to set clear expectations and boundaries, such as when the companion is expected to work and when they have free time, Karpilow says. “No one is able to work 24 hours a day every day,” she adds.

Before hiring an at-home companion, it’s also important to review state and local employment laws. For example, some states have laws for resident employees that can make it difficult for them to leave if necessary. It is also important to pay the journeyman legally, instead of paying him “under the table”, a journeyman who works independently must receive a W-2 or 1099 document which records the amount of compensation he receives during of a given tax year.

Differences between attendant care, home nurses and nursing aides

There may be overlapping duties between a home helper and a companion. A home health aide provides protection and companionship, like a companion, but typically spends more time helping with activities of daily living (ADL), such as helping with toileting, bathing, and eating. The federal government defines a companion as someone who spends no more than 20% of their time assisting with ADLs. A companion’s primary function is to ensure that their client is safe and in contact with another person.

Some home health aides also provide medication reminders and administer medication. Training and certifications for home health aides vary from state to state. Some states require training and some do not. The distinctions between a home helper and a companion are most important for insurance coverage and can impact the selection of a carer when using a home agency.

A home nurse, on the other hand, performs medical treatments that only licensed professionals can provide, such as injections, wound care, and intravenous (IV) medication administration, often in addition to the tasks listed above. -above. A client recovering from surgery could use the services of a home nurse and a companion. Nursing services would require a doctor’s referral and may be covered by insurance.

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