Six Tips for Choosing Companion Care Services for Seniors

Is mom or dad's health declining? Do they need help at home with daily living activities? The time to get appropriate care is sooner than later for their physical and mental well-being.

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Six Tips for Choosing Companion Care Services for Seniors
6 Min Read December 10th, 2021

If you have aging loved ones, chances are, you've already heard the line, 'I don't want to leave my house' several times already. And you can't blame them. They've worked for years to build and enjoy the home they have right now and consider it their sanctuary. 

You can address your loved ones' desire to stay in their homes and still provide the best care for them by hiring companion care services. Companion care is a form of long-term care, primarily focused on providing seniors with practical help with day-to-day activities and emotional support. This form of care is ideal for seniors who want to spend the rest of their days in their homes. 

When choosing companion care services for your senior loved ones, follow these tips:

Understand The Senior's Needs 

Seniors age differently, which is why they need different types of companion care services. A senior living with diabetes will require different services from someone with existing cardiovascular issues. 

To choose the best aged care services for your loved ones, assess what their needs are. Evaluate the type and extent of help they need in areas of personal, health, and household care. Do your senior loved ones need someone who can help with bathing and meal preparation? Do they need assistance in their medication management? Or do they only need help with home maintenance?

Having answers to these questions will make it easier for you to narrow down your options and find companion care services that fit the bill. This will also ensure that your senior loved ones are well taken care of 24/7. 

Ask For Recommendations 

Companion care services have become a norm worldwide, so expect to find a handful of options when you start looking for one. And while having options is great, having too many can be overwhelming and might even pressure you to make a hasty decision. 

Ask friends and family if they know of an agency that can provide companion care services suitable to the needs of your senior loved ones. Asking for recommendations from your social circle will help you manage your expectations and identify agencies that meet your requirements.

Aside from friends and family, don't forget to ask for recommendations from the senior's medical providers, as well. They might be familiar with local agencies that provide high-quality companion care services in the area. And because they know the health condition of your senior loved ones, it'll be easier for them to make recommendations.

Pay Attention to the Credentials of The Agency 

The agency's credentials should be one of your top considerations when choosing companion care services. Credentials speak volumes about the expertise of the caregivers and the quality of services they can provide to seniors. 

In general, you should take a look at the following when checking the credentials of the agency:

  • What level of care does the agency provide? Does it offer medical or non-medical care? When you know what level of care the agency provides, you can easily determine which one matches the needs of your senior loved ones. 
  • Are there any quality assurance protocols in place? If so, what are these? An agency with strong quality assurance policies will give you peace of mind knowing that your senior loved ones are taken care of by the best. 
  • Will the agency assign the same caregiver to a particular patient every day? It'll be easier for your loved ones to bond with the caregiver if the same person is helping them every day. 

Know The Caregivers 

It's imperative to know the caregiver that will be deployed by the agency when choosing companion care services. The caregiver will personally interact with your senior loved ones every day, which is why you should pay attention to this individual's personality and expertise.

Besides being trained and experienced in taking care of seniors, the caregiver should also be sensitive and respectful to your situation. For example, if your senior loved one has dementia, the caregiver should possess a positive mood for interaction and listen with their ears, eyes, and hearts. 

If you want to know more about the caregivers, prepare questions and schedule an interview with them. This will help you determine if the caregiver matches the needs and personality of your senior loved ones. You can also use this opportunity to ask for references from the caregiver. 

Think About the Cost 

Hiring companion care services for your senior loved ones is a long-term commitment, hence you must be financially prepared. Hiring an agency that's way beyond your budget can cause financial stress and, in worse cases, compel you to discontinue the service. The latter could be detrimental to the wellness of your senior loved ones. 

When choosing companion care services, don't forget to consider the cost. Take the time to determine if the agency accepts insurance or veterans' benefits. The agency's cost and accepted payment options aren't an indication of their competency, but these pieces of information will help you plan the long-term cost of in-home care. 

The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator shows you the current, and future cost of long-term health care services in the United States by state and metro area - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News.

Consider Compassion Quotient 

This factor goes beyond the agency's reputation and the caregiver's expertise but is essential in choosing companion care services. When you work with a compassionate agency, you'll feel that the staff will relate to you as a person and not just as a client. They'll treat your loved ones with dignity no matter what level of care they need. 

You'll probably hire companion care services for years, so make sure that the agency has caregivers who are compassionate towards your loved ones. This trait will surely improve the quality of life of your loved ones and will make it easier for you to trust them. 

Choose Carefully 

The companion care services you'll choose can significantly affect the well-being of your senior loved ones, which is why you need to make sound decisions. Leaving them into inexperienced or incapable hands will only cause many problems in the future. 

If you see yourself clueless about choosing companion care services for seniors, take note of the information presented in this article. Let these tips guide you in finding the best companion care services, so your senior loved ones can live life to the fullest!

Remember, people require extended care services due to an illness, accident, or the consequences of aging. Some care can be provided part-time by family members, but usually trained individuals are the best options to offer.

LTC NEWS offers this guide to help find quality in-home care - Finding Quality In-Home Care | LTC News.

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About the Author

Flint Braveheart is a health care professional. His caring nature helps him provide the support and care his patients need. He shares his passion for the health industry by writing blog posts of his expertise and experiences. He enjoys cycling and exercising in his free time.

LTC News Contributor Flint Braveheart

Flint Braveheart

Contributor since December 10th, 2021

Editor's Note

When you have a plan in place, your family will find it much easier when you need long-term health care in the future. You can prepare your family and finances for declining health and aging with affordable Long-Term Care Insurance.

When you own an LTC policy, you own a policy helping you avoid being dependent on your loved ones. The guaranteed tax-free benefits give you access to your choice of quality care services, including in-home care. However, keep in mind that you must have your coverage before you get older and experience substantial health changes. 

Available Resources on LTC NEWS

LTC NEWS offers several tools and resources to help you in your research for a planning solution or help your family find the appropriate care for a loved one at the time of crisis. 

To help you plan for the future costs and burdens of changing health and aging, LTC NEWS has put in place several resources, including:

Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.

Seek Professional Guidance

Experts suggest using a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you navigate the many options available to you and your family. Insurance rates are regulated, so no insurance agent, agency, or financial advisor can give you special deals. However, premiums do vary over 100% between insurance companies for the same coverage.

A specialist who works with the top companies can match your age, health, family history, and other factors and find you the best coverage at the best value. A specialist will save you money, and you will have the peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.

Find Quality Caregivers and Long-Term Care Facilities

If your parent or loved one needs care now - or soon - you will need to find the appropriate care in the right setting depending on their needs.

Take a moment and read - 

Benefits of Reverse Mortgages 

Today's reverse mortgages for those aged 62 and older could be an ideal resource to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy OR even provide money to pay for care if you, or a loved one, already needs help and assistance.  

Some people have much of their savings invested in their homes. With today's reverse mortgages, you can find ways to fund care solutions, care itself, even help with cash flow during your retirement. 

Learn more by asking questions to an expert. LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew" will answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages. 

Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.

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