Private Duty Care and Companionship

4/15/2020 8:00:00 AM

In the Private Duty Care episode, we talked about the role of private duty. We offered some tips on how to screen providers. And we talked about the fact that not everybody's regulated depending on the state that you live in. And we covered when private duty is appropriate and what kind of services are typically offered.

My guest again is Kristen Ekanem, Community Relations Manager with Capital Health Home Care Concierge.

One thing we didn't touch on that I want to circle back around to is companionship. Because I know that that is a big piece of what we do. And I don't really think people understand it.

Most of us don't think people realize to what degree isolation and loneliness can do to our seniors, or how it can really affect them. But companionship is about providing somebody that is there to be a companion, to be their friend to get them involved, to keep them active.

When you're looking at individuals who are living alone, they're isolated, and especially people who are no longer able to drive. And even if you have somebody who can take care of themselves for the most part, they aren't getting out. They're not being social, they don't have interaction.

A lot of families don't even live near mom or dad, and they worry about this.

So this is somebody to keep them active. To keep them involved. Get them out of the house, get them to the senior center. It is companionship. Yes, it sounds like you're paying for a friend. But this is concerning their overall health.

Several of our personal assistants who have come become companions have become family. And some of them have bonded with somebody for months, even years. They become family. And it's wonderful. It's good for personal assistance just like it is for whoever it is that they're taking care of.

And here's something that folks might not realize, when in some of those situations, we have to provide some grief counseling for our personal assistants when the client passes away. That connection is real, that bond is real.

Does the provider...
• Do background screening?
• Do drug testing?
• Provider proof of licensing and bonding for their caregivers? • Hire the caregivers, or are they working through a third-party company (contracted caregivers are not regulated)?

You might want to ask how long has this person worked for you? How long has this person been doing this kind of work? And check out any reviews that are online, including reviews from your local Better Business Bureau.