It depends on the kind of assistance you or your loved one needs. Home health agencies usually provide a CNA (certified nursing assistant), who performs personal services (bathing, dressing, giving medications and meals, etc.) and takes care of the space immediately around the client (the bedroom, sheets, etc.). As a medical professional, a CNA looks after a person’s body and the space around it. If your needs are primarily medical, you might want this kind of service.
You may want a companion, however, if you or your loved one’s needs primarily relate to the activities of daily living:
- Keeping up the whole house (light, basic house cleaning; taking out the garbage; changing light bulbs; doing the laundry and making all the beds because the kids are coming to visit; etc.)
- Paying bills
- Meal preparation
- Transportation and friendship
The objective of the companion is to be your representative, an honorary family member.
Many home health agencies offer companion as well as CNA services. Experience tells us that this approach doesn’t work for companion care. If a company has primarily a medical model, its focus and attitude will remain medical.
Regardless of the approach you or your family take, Care for You® strongly recommends hiring a care coordinator or case manager. Especially when family members live in another town or state, care coordination can reduce stress and ultimately be very cost effective. Unlike you, a care coordinator doesn’t have to take time off work, or arrange and pay for transportation and other travel costs. Care for You® provides the following care coordination and case management services:
· Regularly check in with you and your loved one and the caregiver
· Give you or your loved one immediate access to someone who’s dedicated to the well-being of the person being cared for
· Research for services and activities
· Schedule appointments with physicians, insurers, therapists, pharmacists, banks, and contractors, visit these service providers, and arbitrate when necessary
· Provide a central point of communication among all parties with responsibilities that affect the person receiving care