Are you finding that you need someone to assist you with your day-to-day living routine? Would you like someone to provide some sort of support but not sure what to look for? Or maybe you plan to employ a caregiver but are not sure what their role entails. Let us help to clarify the choices that you have.
There are three types of caregiver services that do not include nursing: a Companion, a Home Support Worker and a Personal Support Worker.
Companions: One of the most important tasks of a companion is to help provide social interaction for seniors/older adults. These are older adults who cannot see their family members often, have lost touch with friends, or no longer want to leave their homes. And now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, older adults need companionship and emotional support more than ever.
A Companion can help older adults become more engaged through conversation, play board games, do arts and crafts, read aloud, and generally provide a familiar and cheerful face. They may also assist with everyday errands like mailing letters, carrying bags, getting a new hairdo or haircut, or merely engaging in conversation and pleasant activities of choice.
While Companions do not handle medication management, they can remind older adults when prescriptions are due and take them to pick up the prescription. They can also accompany older adults to doctor visits or other appointments.
A Home Support Worker (HSW) includes Companion services and helping older adults continue to live in their own homes by assisting them with tasks or chores they can no longer perform or don’t enjoy. For example, an HSW can help older adults carry on with their routine activities by assisting with or performing essential duties like cooking, grocery shopping, light housekeeping, vacuuming, laundry, and providing emotional support. In addition, they can help with meal prep or prepare the entire meal itself.
This level of care will help older adults maintain and even enhance their quality of life. The difference between an HSW and PSW is an HSW does not need to touch the client, whereas a PSW must.
Personal Support Worker (PSW) role includes the role of Companion and Home Support Worker. In addition to those roles, PSW’s provide bathing, toileting, dressing, medication management, taking vitals and other personal care. This service level will be of immense help to seniors who have Dementia or Alzheimer’s, or other mental health issues. In addition, they help people who have mobility issues, health issues like arthritis, or those who have trouble bending or lifting,
We also want to keep in mind that nutrition is of the utmost importance, and PSW’s can encourage seniors to eat a balanced diet and take care of food restrictions.
All three caregiving roles can also keep an eye on the older adult’s behaviour and relay any concerns to their loved ones if there seems to be a change. For example, fear of falling is quite common in older adults and having someone close by helps remove that fearful emotion.
If you are unsure whether you need a Companion’s services, HSW or PSW, talk to us, and we will help you make the right choice that is best for you.
Edited to include updated content.