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Tips on Hiring A Private Companion

The reality of all Long Term Care Homes is that they are under funded and this unfortunately is reflected in the level of care provided to its clients. Long-Term Care Homes are required to provide care in accordance with provincial long term care standards, however, some families choose to hire Private Companions to compliment the services offered in Long-Term Care Homes. If the client has the financial resources it is advisable to hire a Private Companion. We are after all talking about our beloved senior citizens, family members and loved ones who have contributed so enormously to our lives and our country. Things to keep in mind when selecting a Private Companion:

  1. Consider having the Private Companion undergo a police reference check. You the (employer-family member) can pay for the police reference check.
  2. Consider using an established agency that provides Private Companions and employs bonded staff.
  3. Compile a list of tasks or responsibilities that you would like the Private Companion to be responsible for, provide a copy to the Private Companion, and to the manager responsible for the unit that the client is residing on.
  4. Research the best hours of the day and how many days in the week you would like to have the Private Companion with the client. In most Long-Term Care Homes there are less staff on duty in the evenings and even less on the night shift. If your focus is to have a Private Companion there to provide companionship, take to recreational activities and provide routine care, then maybe, it would be best if the Private Companion is there during the day. If the resident has sun downing episodes and requires more care in the evening, then you should consider the Private Companion for those hours.
  5. Consider having a Private Companion who has experience working with seniors who may have both cognitive and physical impairments. As well, someone who is familiar with long-term care environments, and the proper techniques in the use of mechanical lifts, should this be required. However, finding someone who is well suited to the client’s values, needs, and with whom the client is comfortable with should be the deciding factors over experience. Experience will follow over time.
  6. Enquire as to whether or not the prospective Private Companion can provide references.
  7. Alert the Private Companion that the Long-Term Care Home are the ones who are responsible for care and services, and there role is simply to compliment the services offered in the home. It is advisable that all Private Companions wear a name tag so they are identifiable.
A prospective Private Companion with any findings on their police record should not be automatically disqualify from consideration, as there are cases where it is something minor that it will not impact negatively on the care to be provided to the client. As the employer-family member you can request information as to why and what is the finding, should there be any, and then make a decision after careful consideration of the facts.