Home care agencies offer many different types of services, including personal care and companion care. Many people use these terms interchangeably, but there are significant differences between them. While they’re both types of home care services, one may be more appropriate for a senior than the other based on what you and your loved one need. Let’s take a closer look at each.

What is Personal Care?

As they age, many seniors find it challenging to perform what is called the “Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).” These include:

  • Eating
  • Bathing
  • Toileting
  • Grooming
  • Dressing
  • Continence
  • Transferring (i.e., a bed to a chair)

Personal care is the “hands-on care” that helps a senior with these ADLs, in addition to other assistance, such as medication reminders and assisting with the use of medical equipment like walkers and wheelchairs.

A professional caregiver administers these services in such a manner that lets older adults remain at home with their pride and dignity intact.

What is Companion Care?

Many seniors spend hours and days at a time alone, which can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. These feelings can eventually manifest themselves in the form of physical and mental disorders, or cognitive decline.

Companion care helps prevent this from happening. It helps meet a senior’s need for social interaction when getting out to see friends is more difficult, or their spouse and closest friends have passed away.

Companion care is focused on non-medical services, including:

  • Providing company for errands and appointments
  • Planning, preparing and cleaning up after meals
  • Light housekeeping duties like dusting, cleaning and organizing
  • Washing, drying, ironing, folding, and putting away clothes and linens
  • Playing cards or games
  • Reading, watching television, or listening to music together
  • Sitting and visiting

Often, a caregiver providing companion care becomes a cherished friend of their care recipient and is someone the senior looks forward to seeing.

Caregivers can also provide both personal care and companion care services during the same visit. Having a home care agency such as AmeriCare Plus conduct an in-home assessment can help you determine the type of care which will best meet your family’s needs.

Contact us today to learn more about our personal care, companion care, and other services in Virginia. Our trained, compassionate caregivers are here to help your senior loved one enjoy the highest quality of life possible and remain in the comfort of their own home.

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