Heartland’s companions are trustworthy, caring, compassionate, loyal, and professional companions of seniors or the infirm. Our companions are incredibly giving people with a high regard and respect for elders and also offer a comprehensive understanding of geriatrics. These competent and sensitive companions ease the difficulties of advanced age while allowing seniors the space and independence they require – all while forging a harmonious, long-term relationship.
Our companions are dedicated professionals hand-selected for the rewarding yet highly demanding work of in-home senior care. Over the years, our companions have shared the following suggestions to help ensure positive relationships between the companion, senior, and family members.
1. Easing the transition At first, the senior needing the care may resist the need for a live-in companion. If so, it’s important that family or friends be on hand to help with this transition of live-in assistance.
2. Accommodations Ensure the companion’s room is cleared of all family belongings. We strongly suggest providing a television in the room and space for a computer. At minimum, the room should be furnished with a bed (with a good mattress), dresser, and chair.
3. Preparing for the companion’s arrival Your home should be clean and in good repair. If necessary, hire a cleaning service to ensure the house is clean and well-organized for the companion’s arrival.
4. Community Ask a friend or family member to show your companion around the neighborhood. This will help the companion feel comfortable about venturing out when time permits.
5. Household budget Ensure the companion has an adequate budget to buy food and household items.
6. Respite relief If the senior cannot be left alone, your companion must be given time off. Companions cannot provide around-the-clock care seven days a week. Be considerate, create a fair schedule, and remember their dedication to the care of your loved one.
7. Medical History If the senior is under a doctor’s care, the companion must be allowed (and encouraged) to communicate with the doctor when needed. A full disclosure of medical diagnosis is necessary for the companion to provide the best possible service.
8. Communication The very best relationships develop when people take time to communicate. Encourage the companion to discuss working conditions with you if something is amiss.
9. Incentives Companions thrive when they feel salary raises are possible. An end-of-the year bonus, thanks for a job well done, and encouragement to stay on are highly appreciated.
10. Support The senior’s decline in health will increase your companion’s workload, especially if the companion’s sleep is disrupted. Use all local services available through Medicare and be prepared to raise the salary of the live-in companion as decline sets in.
11. Changes A companion’s salary should not be docked if the person needing care is hospitalized. Of course, if the hospital stay is lengthy, some negotiation of pay is appropriate.
12. Thanking your companion Upon the death or relocation of the person needing care, it’s customary to provide severance pay to the companion. We suggest paying the companion the equivalent of two to four weeks’ salary. Also, consider asking the companion to remain in your employ to organize the home and to housesit as a security measure until the estate is settled or the house is sold.