Looking for companionship, or in-home care?

It can be challenging to know what kind of care your elderly loved one needs, especially as their requirements will change over time. In some cases, a helping hand is all that’s needed to help our loved ones live a happy and independent life at home. In others, something more formal might be for the best or even necessary. Working together with our partners at Autumna, we have created this short guide to help you understand the options available, which option might be best for your situation and what the next steps are.

What’s the difference between companionship and care?

What is companionship?

Companionship can cover all sorts, from helping with household chores, supporting with the grocery shopping, or walking the dog together. These can be a huge help to your loved one’s well-being and take some of the pressure away from yourself.

Others are searching for a companion to be there for their loved ones, swap stories, enjoy activities, share hobbies and interests, and expand their outlook by connecting them to other generations and ways of life. And some are looking for a blend – companions can offer practical and emotional support, at the same time. 

It’s also important to mention that all sorts of people can benefit from companionship – not just the elderly. Companionship can make a massive difference to those struggling with illness or recovering from surgery, busy or first-time mums and dads, or people who’ve just moved to a new area. We all need a little help now and then, after all.

What is home care?

Home care, or care at home, is when a loved one stays in their own home but needs support that extends beyond what is offered by companionship. For example, if your loved one needs help with dressing, cleaning, or washing themselves or requires help administering their medication then you will need home care.

Registered carers will offer much the same as you would expect from companionship but with an extra level of support and the nature of visits revolving around specific needs. Professionally supplied home care will be able to support people who have medical needs and more demanding support requirements.

If your loved one cannot get by without support, you are likely in need of home care whereas if they can get by, but support would benefit them then companionship might be your best option. 

It’s worth noting that home care and companionship are not exclusive. If your loved one requires a registered carer for certain aspects of their day-to-day life, such as help showering or taking medication, that does not mean they cannot also be supported by companionship to keep them company, help them prepare dinner or something else entirely. At the moment in particular, whilst there is a shortage of care workers, a combination of home care and companionship might be the ideal solution to give a loved one the support they truly need.

Care homes 

If companionship and home care are not able to offer the necessary support because your loved one requires full-time assistance, then you may want to consider a care home.

Care homes will be capable of offering a much more comprehensive and all-encompassing range of support from physical assistance to supporting loved ones that have dementia. Living in a care home will give greater support across all aspects of your loved one’s life which includes having all their meals prepared, receiving support to exercise, administering medication and any other support your loved one may need. There’s also a tremendous benefit to having a larger community of people to interact with on a daily basis. 

Care homes come in all shapes and sizes to suit both needs and preferences, from small homes with home-cooked dinners, a rural setting and a large garden to modern homes that deliver restaurant-quality dining experiences, hair salons and on-site physiotherapists. If you believe your loved one may require round-the-clock support or if there is a risk of leaving them on their own, then you will want to consider your care home options. 

Find the support you need

The search for the correct support is not always easy if you do not know where to start. However, between Autumna and companiions, we’ve got you covered.

Looking for companion services?

Whether you’re looking for a companion with care experience or someone to simply check in and lend a hand, you can find your match using the companiions app. Sign up to find a companion for a loved one, or even yourself.

Looking for care? 

For assistance finding appropriate care services, Autumna offers a free and bespoke shortlist of care options, handpicked by our experts to fit your exact needs. Supporting over 2.5 million care searches each year and enabling hundreds of families to secure the correct support every month, rest assured you’re in caring hands with Autumna. Get your free shortlist now! 

Get more advice on our blog including how to help your loved one stay home for longer and how to get help with respite care.