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What to look for in a companion

Everyday existences becomes more difficult with age or disability – this is an unavoidable fact of life. That said, your loved ones are not destined to grapple with these challenges alone. There are people out there who dedicate their lives to helping the disabled and members of older generations find happiness and fulfillment. These domestic professionals, often called companions or caregivers, lend essential assistance and support to individuals who might need help with daily duties such as meal preparation or mobility. Some also help with more personal matters, including maintaining acceptable hygiene and performing therapeutic exercise. 

Should you decide to move forward with hiring a caregiver or companion, you will encounter an immense wealth of options. Today, more than 43 million of these professionals work in the U.S., according to researchers from the AARP Public Policy Institute and the American Alliance for Caregiving. So, before you start evaluating candidates, make sure to familiarize yourself with some of qualities of a strong companion. Here are three:

1. Poise

While the vast majority of companions perform relatively low-risk tasks such as housekeeping and errand-running, they support individuals who may need medical assistance at a moment's notice. As a result, it is critical the these domestic professionals possess the poise needed to handle emergencies and other demanding events with aplomb, according to Caring.com. You must therefore attempt to pinpoint candidates who are used to responding to adverse occurrences and can navigate these situations in a graceful manner.

Caregivers and companions provide the elderly and disabled with essential support.Caregivers and companions provide the elderly and disabled with essential support.

2.  Domestic experience

The average companion devotes 13 days per month to shopping, preparing meals and performing light housekeeping for their charges, analysts for Gallup found. These tasks, especially those centered on meal planning and preparation, require significant skill in the kitchen. This makes various domestic expertise critical to success in the field. Consequently, it is key that you search for companions who can capably whip up nutritional food for your loved ones and navigate the home with ease.

3. Communication skills

The most effective companions can connect with the individuals they support and gain an understanding of their needs and desires. They also understand how to collaborate with family members and friends involved in the lives of their charges, facilitating obstruction-free communication channels that keep all parties happy and healthy. This is why it is important for you to emphasize the importance of effective communication when screening potential candidates and only move forward with those who have demonstrable skills in this area.

By keeping these key traits in mind, you can source a strong companion capable of supporting your loved ones in need. Of course, if this seems too overwhelming for you to handle alone, you might think about connecting with the Colonial Domestic Agency. With access to a large pool of qualified caregivers, our recruiters can help you find someone who meets your requirements.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you hire a companion.