How to be a companion to an elderly person

Written by kathryn hatter
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How to be a companion to an elderly person
The elderly can benefit from companions who provide various types of assistance. (Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

A companion to seniors can play a valuable role in supervising and supporting senior citizens who live independently. A senior may become isolated as health declines and everyday activities become more challenging. Volunteering your services or working as a paid companion will enable you to help a senior - and by extension, the senior's family - in a number of ways.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Analyse your personality to be sure that you have qualities possessed by a successful companion. Kindness, patience, trustworthiness, dependability, problem-solving skills and poise under pressure are some qualities that a companion should have.

  2. 2

    Contact a volunteer agency and offer your services. Find out what requirements the agency has for volunteers who provide companionship for elderly people. You may need to provide references and background information before you can become a volunteer.

  3. 3

    Apply for a paid position with an agency that provides companions for the elderly. As with the volunteer agency, an extensive background check is often done. The agency will most likely request references also. After securing a position, the agency will match you to elderly clients who need companions.

  4. 4

    Advertise your services as a companion. Post your ad in a newspaper or on local notice boards. Include information about your services, such as rates, hours and the activities you will perform as a companion, such as meal preparation, errand-running and light house cleaning.

  5. 5

    Provide companion services to elderly people who hire you. Work with the person or the person's family to provide the services desired. This may include simply sitting and visiting for several hours or it may involve meal preparation and light housekeeping duties. Each elderly client will have different needs. A personable and dependable companion will be in greater demand than one who is unreliable and not enjoyable to be around.

Tips and warnings

  • A medical background - as a nurse or certified nursing assistant, for example - may help you obtain work as a companion to the elderly.

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