elderly woman and caregiver seated on couch laughing

With more people over 65 years old and their desire to stay in their own homes, there is a high demand for home care services. Unfortunately, families are not often aware of the many ways in which a home care companion can help seniors retain their independence and enjoyment of life while offering peace of mind to those who love them.

Personal care
An in-home companion can provide a variety of care services such as monitoring and encouragement for bathing, grooming and dental hygiene. They may help with clothing selection, provide medication reminders, encourage and monitor prescribed exercise programs and prepare nutritious, tasty meals.

Fall prevention/Safety supervision
According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of injury for older Americans and can threaten the safety and independence of seniors. The good news is that falls are highly preventable and an in-home companion can help by ensuring the house is free from common risk factors as well as taking over strenuous tasks that may cause an incident. Companions can also accompany on walks with balance assistance. According to a Harvard Study, consistent physical activity such as a walking has been proven to help prevent falls by strengthening the muscles that keep us upright and improving our balance.

Daily Chores and Errands
A home care professional can help with daily errands, such as light housekeeping, laundry and linens, reading and organizing mail and newspapers as well as general household organization and calendar assistance.

Transportation is a serious issue as we age. The loss of one’s car or ability to drive is a major milestone which can cause isolation and depression in older adults. It can often seem as though their independence and in some cases their identity has been stripped away. A companion can offer an alternative way to maintain independence and the ability to continue with routines and activities. Companions may drive a client’s vehicle or provide transport in their own car. They may accompany on outings such as the grocery store and other shopping, medical appointments and social engagements, parks, museums, and libraries. Companions may also suggest stimulating events and activities which are happening locally.

One of the greatest benefits of home care is also one that is often overlooked – the simple act of companionship. According to a study conducted by the University of California, San Francisco, 43 percent of seniors report feeling lonely at least some of the time. They also discovered that loneliness can be deadly. In this study, seniors who felt lonely were 45 percent more likely to die than those who felt connected to others. According to a study conducted at Brigham Young University, the health effect of loneliness is comparable to obesity. A home care professional can provide socialization and stimulation – someone to talk to, play cards with, or take a trip to the zoo. We’ve discovered that the relationship between caregiver and care receiver become one of the most important for both parties, enriching both of their lives.

To learn more about the benefits of home care, read our report on How to Age Well at Home.

Finding the Right Home Care Services
With so many options, deciding on home care may seem like a daunting task. The first step is to assess the person’s needs. Make a realistic list of home and care tasks the person needs assistance with, such as bathing and dressing. Maybe they simply need help with daily chores and getting rides to appointments and shopping. Once you understand exactly what’s needed, finding the right caregiver becomes much easier. AMR Care Group has a wide selection of caregivers, all of whom have been carefully screened to meet the needs of our clients.

The Agency Advantage
Working with a trusted agency that screens and trains applicants has numerous advantages.

No Employer Responsibilities 
You don’t have to worry about tax withholding or reporting, or paying premiums for workers’ compensation, unemployment or liability insurance. If a caregiver ever calls in sick, the agency provides a backup, who has the same training and experience.

Safety and security 
When you go through an agency, you’ll get a caregiver who has gone through a criminal background check and has been thoroughly screened by the agency to ensure they are capable of doing the job you’ve hired them to do.

Ongoing training and supervision 
Agency employees are supervised, evaluated and monitored to ensure they are doing a good job and meeting the needs of their clients. They also receive ongoing training, so they are constantly aware of new resources, trends and ideas that make them better caregivers.