Is your loved one finding it difficult to look after themselves? Or are you unable to find the time to give them the help they need? Then it may be time to look at home care services. For example, your loved one may wish to stay in their own home with dignity rather than move into a care home. Or they may require specialised dementia home care services you can’t provide. 

Knowing the difference between companion care and personal care will help you identify the home care services a family member needs to remain safe and comfortable in familiar surroundings.


Companion care and personal care – what’s the difference?

Companion care and personal care are often used interchangeably, but there is an essential difference between the two. 

Companion care suits older people who need social support and help with household chores. 

On the other hand, personal care is better suited for older people who require hands-on physical assistance. This type of support includes help with personal hygiene and managing chronic conditions like diabetes or dementia. 


What is personal care?

If your family member needs additional help with day-to-day activities, they may need personal care. A personal carer can help with everyday activities, including bathing, toileting, grooming and oral hygiene. However, they can also be required to deliver medical assistance, such as administering medication and maintaining a catheter bag.

The level of personal care required will depend on their needs. However, home care services should always keep your family member’s comfort and safety in mind. That’s why personal caregivers need to spend time getting to know your loved one’s routines and the hygiene products they prefer.

By assisting your family member in staying safe and protected at home, a personal caregiver ensures that your loved one keeps their dignity and enjoys a good quality of life.


What does personal care involve?

Personal care involves:

  • Bathing and showering
  • Help with dressing
  • Applying personal hygiene and care products
  • Managing medication
  • Assistance with continence management

Personal caregivers can visit at specified hours or live in to meet your loved one’s needs around the clock.


When does a loved one need personal care?

There are plenty of reasons why your loved one might need personal care. For example, they may have mobility issues that make bathing difficult. Or they may have memory loss and require dementia home care services to help them manage their medication.

Other signs your family member could need personal care include behavioural changes and poor personal hygiene. It could be time to talk about personal care if you’re struggling to give your loved one the support they need.


What is companion care?

Not every older person requires medicalised care. Companion care encompasses a variety of services, from housekeeping and running errands to providing transport and emotional support.

Companion caregivers spend time talking to loved ones and planning activities together. For example, companion home care services could include attending a club or society or travelling to meet far-flung relatives. This type of care helps to promote independence and better health and well-being for your loved one. 


What’s involved in companion care?

Companion care generally involves assistance with practical tasks and providing companionship and emotional support:

  • Helping with chores like laundry
  • Preparing nutritious meals
  • Running errands
  • Joining in with a hobby
  • Providing support to travel

Companion care aims to keep your family member positive, engaged and active.


Does my loved one need companion care?

You may have noticed that a family member can no longer manage household tasks, and you don’t have enough time to provide the extra pair of hands they need. In that case, companion care could be a solution. 

But other signs could also mean a loved one needs companion care. These include being demotivated or becoming withdrawn and isolated. For example, they may have lost interest in eating or have trouble handling their usual responsibilities. If your loved one has lost interest in activities they used to love, a companion caregiver can help them re-engage with emotional support. 


Choosing care services for your loved one

For many older people, remaining in familiar surroundings supports dignity and independence, whatever their care needs. In addition, maintaining a well-kept home and good personal hygiene reduces your loved one’s risk of accidents and illness. Finally, knowing their needs are met with personalised attention and support will give you peace of mind.

Having a conversation about care isn’t always easy, but knowing the available options can help you make an informed decision. And if your loved one prefers to stay in familiar surroundings, with pets and loved ones, we can provide the extra support they need.

At Caremark, we specialise in home care services that exceed your expectations. Contact the Caremark team today to book your consultation.