What’s the Difference Between Companion Care and Personal Care?

February 26, 2018
Janelle Thomas MSN, RN
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Many people use the terms companion care and personal care interchangeably, but they’re not exactly the same.

They’re both home care services, but one may be a better fit than the other depending on what you and your loved one need.

What Is Companion Care?

One of our basic needs as humans is social interaction and companionship. That doesn’t change when we get older. It’s just as important for the elderly yet harder to achieve as activities like going out to see friends become more difficult.

That’s what companion care is for. Companion care provides companionship and non-medical services. These services may include:

  • Providing company for appointments or errands
  • Planning, preparing, and cleaning up meals
  • Cleaning, organizing, dusting, and other light house cleaning tasks
  • Washing, drying, ironing, folding, and putting away clothes and linens
  • Playing cards or games and having a conversation

What Is Personal Care?

Privacy and dignity are also important to us as humans. And it can be difficult for us when we get older and can’t routinely perform the day-to-day activities we used to. Oftentimes these are the activities we don’t want to ask for help with, especially from family.

That’s what personal care is for. Personal care provides hands on care and all the things companion care does, in addition to basic medical services.

Personal caregivers are required to have formal training, unlike companion caregivers. For example, at Care Options for Kids all of our personal caregivers are either Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) or Home Health Aides (HHAs).

Services that personal caregivers perform may include all of those that a companion caregiver performs plus:

  • Providing hands-on care by assisting with bathing, dressing and skin, mouth, and hair care
  • Measuring temperature, pulse, respiration, blood pressure, and intake and output of fluids
  • Assisting with the use of devices like wheelchairs and walkers
  • Helping change colostomy or catheter bags
  • Help with toileting
  • Assisting with medication needs
  • Perform basic grooming and cosmetic assistance

What Kind of Care Do I Need?

Now that you know the difference between companion care and personal care, you know that the kind of care you or your loved one needs depends on the degree of assistance required.

Companion care provides companionship and non-medical services.

Personal care provides hands on care, and all the things companion care does plus basic medical services (examples of those are listed above).

Contact Care Options for Kids for Personal Care or Companion Care

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care services like personal care or companion care, contact us at Care Options for Kids. We’re passionate about home care services that bring love, light, and laughter into the homes and communities we serve.

Call 888-592-5855 or click here to schedule your free in-home assessment today.