It is impossible to put a price on health care and one’s health in general. As people get older, they may need some form of assistance or support. Sometimes the support needed is medical or physical but there are many cases where just general help and companionship are needed.  Companion care is a care solution that assists people with non-medical activities around the home or in life in general.  Undertaken by trained staff, companion care is provided to ageing people, the elderly or disabled people who want to remain in their home and be as independent as possible.

What Support Can be Provided by a Companion Carer?

Generally, companion care does not offer medical or hygiene related tasks and support. Tasks such as bathing, changing a catheter, incontinence  care, dressing and toilet assistance are normally not covered. A companion carer can be a family member in some cases but is often someone with a basic nursing background or someone retired for a care career. The support is primarily emotional and assistance designed to ensure a person remains healthy, safe, comfortable and confident living in their own home.

The Job of a Companion Carer

A Companion Care is a vital part of the health care system and for many people it is the only way that they can remain living as independently as they do in their own home. A Companion Care giver will assist in a number of basic tasks around the home or during the day (or night) that include preparing meals, attending social engagements, driving and assisting with shopping. Furthermore, a companion care giver will be a friend, provide stimulating conversation, motivate a person, keep and eye out for accidents and prevent them. In a way the person is a pair of extra eyes and ears.

Hiring a Companion Carer

In a lot of cases, family step in as companion carers. The role is far more demanding than might be imagined and while family members can share the load hiring a professional carer always makes sense in the end. Hiring a professional companion carer requires hiring a trained person with experience, qualifications, and skills to do the job properly. Very often this means working through an agency. An agency will assess the needs of the individual in detail, make recommendations and then provide a person or small team of people to care for the person. It may be that day care is needed or that assistance is only required for a few hours or on certain days of the week. On the other hand, full-time or live in carers may be needed.

The cost of Companion Care

The cost of companion care varies and depends on location and the needs of the individual. The amount of time required and whether the carers needed to live in or not also affect the overall cost. Hourly rates vary but you can expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $35 per hour upwards for basic companion care. Full-day care, Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm costs from from $200 to $500 per 12-hour shift, day or night.  Full-time live in companion care costs from about $4,000 to to $8,000 per month.   Eligible veterans are able to secure care through the VA Home and Community-Based Services. Furthermore, some medical insurance or medical aid plans will also cover some or all of the cost of a companion care giver.