A home care companion either volunteers or is paid to visit elderly or disabled people in their residence. This type of home care worker also often accompanies the client on outings by providing the driving as well as companionship. Meal preparation, home maintenance and running errands are other common duties of care companion workers. The exact tasks will vary greatly depending on the needs of the client; a home care companion may live-in or visit on a set schedule.
Medical care is not provided by this type of home worker, as he or she isn't usually trained in health services. Companionship and the general upkeep of both the client and his or her home is the main responsibility. Home care companions are expected to communicate with the client pleasantly and should be good listeners who have true empathy for their clients. A home care companion is typically assigned to a client from a company that specializes in providing residential services. Sometimes, community centers or hospitals recruit volunteers to provide elderly or disabled persons with companionship care.
Unlike other types of home care aides who provide clients with medical services or workers who just do yard work or interior cleaning, companionship workers typically spend a lot of time chatting or playing cards with clients. They may accompany them on outings such as shopping or to an event such as a dinner out. This type of communicative relationship with the client is an important part of a home care companion's job.
At the same time, they must make sure the client is well taken care of personally and may assist in feeding, bathing, dressing and toileting him or her. They also typically cook meals and prepare snacks as well as keep the home maintained through regular housekeeping duties. Vacuuming, sweeping, bed making and dusting are common companion care worker tasks. Doing laundry and cleaning the kitchen and bathroom are other typical housekeeping duties for these workers.
A home care agency often first works out what services other than companionship that a client who hires the company needs before planning a schedule for the care aide. The agency then pays the home care companion; if the worker will be living in the client's house, a room and board amount will usually be taken from the paycheck. The exact duties the home companion must do for the client and on what schedule are typically made very clear from the beginning.