How do I Become a Home Care Companion?

Laura M. Sands

The requirements to become a home care companion may vary according to where you live and plan to work. Some positions require workers to be specially trained while others do not. If you plan to become a home care companion, you must possess certain necessary qualities and skills including honesty, a passion for helping others, an ability to work well with others, good communication skills and an ability to follow directions. It is very likely that you will also need to pass a criminal background check before being allowed to provide direct assistance to clients.

Basic medical training can be beneficial for home care companions.
Basic medical training can be beneficial for home care companions.

In places like the United Kingdom and the United States, no special education or licensing is needed for certain types of home care. If services are paid for by a government health care program in the United States, however, a home care worker must be formally trained and certified before being allowed to work for a home care agency. Specific requirements to become a home care companion and to become certified vary from state to state, but certification often entails at least 75 hours of training and a satisfactory score on a certification examination. You may also be required to complete several hours of supervised training before you can begin working in home care.

It's a good idea to undergo CPR training before applying to become a home care companion.
It's a good idea to undergo CPR training before applying to become a home care companion.

If you intend to become a home care companion in a position that does not require you to be certified, you can expect to be trained on the job by either a home health care nurse, a family member of the person you are caring for or the actual patient. While job descriptions vary, at the very least, you can expect to be taught how to handle client emergencies, prepare special meals and complete housekeeping duties according to the client’s specifications. Before you apply to become a home care companion, it is also a good idea to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid procedures.

A background in geriatric work is helpful when pursing a job as a home care companion.
A background in geriatric work is helpful when pursing a job as a home care companion.

In order to become a home care companion, you must also be naturally compassionate toward others. Often, you will have to display a significant amount of patience and understanding, and you will need to be able to work well under stressful circumstances. Although you will provide basic care to clients by assisting them with physical challenges, you may also be required to provide housekeeping assistance. To become a home care companion you should, therefore, be organized and willing to engage in maintaining a clean and comfortable environment for your client at all times.

To become a home care companion, a person must be naturally compassionate toward others.
To become a home care companion, a person must be naturally compassionate toward others.
A home care companion might help someone who is disabled with cleaning around the house.
A home care companion might help someone who is disabled with cleaning around the house.
Home care companions may cook meals for clients.
Home care companions may cook meals for clients.

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