In the past decade, the word friend has changed from a noun to a verb, as in "to friend someone on Facebook." From the Greatest Generation to Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials, the entire paradigm of friendship and companionship has been revamped. Millennials, those born around the last turn of the century may have hundreds of friends through social media. Gen-X-ers, those born between the 1960s and the 1990s are now in the phase of life where they have friends from work or from their children's school and other activities. Older Baby Boomers and those from the Greatest Generation, now in their late 70s or older, often find themselves feeling isolated and lonely. Their notion of friendship and socializing involves face-to-face interaction, and yet their health and the effects of aging might limit their ability to physically connect with other people.
As a family caregiver, you might fill that void. Yet, you have your own life that takes you away from your elder loved one. Your work, your family, your own friends all cut into time you would otherwise spend with your aging mother, father or relative. Your loved one may not even need a nurse, but may simply need companionship. Thankfully, there are professional caregivers who specialize in this important type of care.
We call it Companion Care. The website SeniorLiving.org describes companion care as "primarily emotional support and companionship for seniors who are generally healthy and who want to remain independent at home." Another term used by some is 'Adult Day Care'. Senior Living identifies this type of care as one of the most affordable, and yet its impact on a family can be enormous. (See Cost versus Level of Care chart)
SeniorLiving.org identifies a number of important questions you might have about Companion Care, and we could not have said it better than they have. Here is an excerpt from Senior Living's Choosing Companion Care Services list of important questions to ask:
- Does the agency offer additional services like home health if my loved one's condition dictates?
- Is the agency recommended by a hospital, social worker, doctor or similar professional?
- Does the agency perform background checks on the staff?
- Does the employee have professional recommendations they can provide?
- Does the employee have any special certifications or skills (e.g. dementia care, nutrition, etc.)?
- Does the agency provide free in-home safety evaluations?
- Does the agency provide 24-hour/7 days a week service?
- How does the agency supervise the caregiver?
- How the agency develops the client's care plan?
- Is family involved with the care process?
- Is the client involved with their care process and plan?
- If the caregiver is unable to work on a given day, who is their replacement? How much notice are you given?
- Will the caregiver be the same person every time?
- What is the average time a caregiver stays with the agency?
- What are the payment options? Is there a payment plan?
- Are there additional fees, deposits, etc. not included in the quoted cost?
- Do holidays and weekends cost extra?
Hill Country Care Providers offers Companion Care Services for our Austin, Texas clients. In addition to these basic care services, we serve a wide range of professional home health care needs including Skilled Nursing Care, Alzheimer's Care, Geriatric Care Management, Personal Care, 24/7 In Home Care and many other needs. Our caregivers become friends - almost family - with our clients. Just read some of our client testimonials. We take the time to find the best caregivers possible. We not only perform rigorous background screening, but also seek those who believe that their profession is not just a job, but a calling.
Through a free consultation, we can evaluate your situation and then work with you to tailor a care plan to your specific needs. A Companion Care plan may include activities that are fun and mentally stimulating, such as card games or watching a favorite television show. We make every effort to schedule the same caregivers for your loved one, bringing familiar faces into your home each visit. This helps to build a relationship, an important aspect of socializing and mental health.
Hill Country Care Providers is focused on providing premier in-home care, not simply on providing the minimal care covered by Medicare. We are an entirely private pay home health agency. Our clients either have additional long-term health care insurance or prefer to pay out of pocket for the best care available.
Learn more about Companion Care services offered by Hill Country Care Providers.