Health and Fitness

Companion vs. Caregiver | What’s the Difference?

When our elderly loved ones reach a certain age, it is normal to look for a paid companion for elderly UK

Because our loved ones will be under the care of someone else, it is crucial to research thoroughly before committing to single elderly care. However, if you start researching, you’ll realize there are different types of elderly care services out there, each different from the other to suit every elderly’s needs. 

Elderly companion services and elderly caregiving services are some of the most common ones you’ll find. Although these two types of elderly service sound familiar, they really aren’t.

Therefore, in this article, we are going to tell you all about these two elderly care services, and how they are different from each other.


Elderly caregivers are individuals who look after the elderly and seniors and take care of all their needs. 

Caregivers look after elders and also help them perform everyday activities, including bathing, meal preparation, and more. As seniors age, they need more and more assistance in their everyday tasks, which is exactly why caregivers are here. 

Whether your elderly loved one needs help moving around, even in a wheelchair, the caregiver will make sure to do it. You can expect a caregiver to offer your elderly a helping hand. This includes personal care, such as bathing, personal grooming, bed-baths, applying lotions/creams when required. Dressing, getting ready for bed, toileting, oral hygiene, continence care, and more.

Besides that, most caregivers also assist the elderly with food planning and preparation. This includes keeping in mind the elderly’s nutritional needs. Caregivers also make sure to take care of small errands around the house, such as basic housekeeping, laundry, and even fetching groceries from the local store in case they run out.

Only professional and licensed health caregivers can be expected to give your elderly loved ones help with their medication, by overseeing their prescriptions, usage. Appointment reminders, and even administering medicines for them. 

There are also specialized caregivers, who care for those elderly suffering from diseases or illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Cancer, physical disabilities, and so on. Such seniors need to receive specialized care.

Companion care

When seniors age, it is normal for them to feel more isolated and lonely with time. This loneliness and isolation can either be due to a loss of a spouse, children moving out, or natural withdrawal from socialization. But, this isolation and loneliness can take a toll on your elderly loved one’s health and well-being. This is what companions are here for.

Apart from looking out for your elderly loved one’s needs and requirements, companions make sure to form a ‘companionship’ with them to help eliminate loneliness and isolation.

A companion carer does this by forming a meaningful, loving, and supportive relationship with them. These carers come in every day and spend quality time with your loved ones. Be it just talking with them and having an everyday conversation, or playing their favorite game, watching their favorite movies, or even taking them for a stroll outside, the goal of companion caregivers is to combat loneliness for good. 

Moreover, it is also to enhance the mood of your loved ones by helping them live a more fulfilling life. A more enhanced social life will help them live a much healthier life, mentally and physically. 

Therefore, companions basically provide a non-medical type of home care to the elderly and are less intensive. But, just like a caregiver as discussed above, you can expect a companion to take care of other needs of your elderly and also assist them in their everyday tasks. 

These include planning and preparing meals, small errands around the house, such as laundry, dusting, cleaning, ironing, and folding clothes.

Which one is suitable for my loved one?

Which elderly caregiving service you go for depends entirely upon your loved one’s needs and requirements. For instance, if your loved one needs specialized and medical care, then you should definitely opt for caregivers. 

This is because professional and licensed caregivers are appointed to provide medical assistance. And specialized care for those elderly suffering from certain illnesses, sicknesses, or even injuries or disabilities. If your loved one is prescribed certain medications, then you should opt for caregiving too.

However, if your loved one is not in need of any specialized care or medical support. And is only in need of socialization and companionship. Then you should go for an elderly companion for your loved one. 

Companions are trained and there to build a supporting and loving bond with the elderly, and are not appointed or licensed to provide medical or specialized care to any individual.

But, it is also important to know that you can combine elderly companionship and caregiving for your loved one. Again, this depends entirely on your loved one’s needs and preferences.

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