It is no secret that as we age, daily tasks become more difficult. Hiring a senior helper is a great way to ease those challenges while still allowing you to maintain independence.
Senior helpers can dramatically improve the quality of life for many. These professionals can offer you a variety of services. Knowing about those specialties and your personal needs will help you find the right senior helper for you.
If you are looking for a senior helper, you may not know where to begin. This article will help you by laying out what kind of help senior helpers can provide and how to find one.
What Do Senior Helpers Do?
Senior helpers aim to improve the day-to-day lifestyle of senior citizens. Based on specific scenarios and individual needs, senior helpers can adapt their services.
These professionals have a broad skill set, allowing them to employ a flexible approach to the services they provide. In doing so, caregivers support older adults’ ability to remain living in the homes they love.
Individually tailored service is the main component of senior help. But there are two main services that many seniors need.
- Companion care
- Personal care
The natures of these services are distinct from one another.
Each one comes with a different level of involvement in the senior’s life. But the result remains the same. Through these forms of care, seniors can maintain their independence as they age.
By becoming more familiar with these services, you will better understand which one is best for you.
Read more about these services below.
Companion care is a form of assistance that takes place in the senior’s home.
Caregivers are focused on making life easier for the elderly. This means helping with common household tasks, including the following:
- Running commonplace errands like grocery shopping
- Picking up medication
- Preparing meals
- Completing household chores
- Accompanying seniors to appointments
- Engaging in senior’s favorite hobbies
One of the primary benefits of companionship is at an emotional level. Sadly, many seniors experience social isolation.
Social isolation is a serious concern. Research suggests that this condition affects far more than a senior’s mental health. Social isolation exacerbates other life-threatening conditions common among seniors.
Social isolation has been shown to have the following negative results.
- Increased likelihood of dementia
- Higher rates of depression and suicide
- Increased risk of death among those with heart failure
- Increased risk of premature death
Clearly, social isolation is nothing to take lightly.
Some studies show that this condition can be as harmful as smoking and obesity. Thankfully, companionship services can reduce these risks.
At times, the conversation alone offered by companion caregivers is enough to boost the mood of seniors. And while this is a major benefit, companion caregivers can’t do it all.
For instance, many companion caregivers are not able to provide direct medical care. They also do not give physical assistance with tasks like bathing and dressing.
If that is what you need, you will need to search for a different form of senior help. To your benefit, there are many other service options available to you.
Personal care shares many similarities with companion care.
Both services offer help with daily life, including the completion of errands and chores. But personal caregivers can provide what companion care lacks.
These additional services include assisting seniors with the tasks listed below:
- Changing catheter bags
- Taking medication
Personal care providers can also measure and track a senior’s vital bodily functions including:
- Respiratory function
- Blood pressure
- Fluid intake
Since personal caregivers perform medical tasks, they need more in-depth training. This is the primary difference between a companion caregiver and a personal caregiver.
Companion Caregiver Qualifications
As someone in need of a senior helper, you should know that the qualifications needed to become a companion caregiver are limited. To do this work, an individual needs little more than a clean driving record and CPR training.
This point is not meant to be dismissive of companion caregivers.
These senior helpers are very impactful in the care they provide. However, it remains necessary to emphasize the distinction between these kinds of senior helpers.
Personal Caregiver Qualifications
In contrast to companion caregivers, personal caregivers must become certified. Personal caregivers can have one of two certifications:
- Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
- Home Health Aid (HHA)
These formal requirements are what give personal care aids the ability to perform medical services for seniors. They offer these services either in the senior’s home or at a personal care community.