Types of companies that hire companions are those that provide services to seniors, such as veterans' medical centers and hospitals. Many social service agencies pair seniors with companions, as do associations that focus on debilitating diseases, such as the Alzheimer's Association.
Senior companions work part-time or full-time, from 20 to 40 hours per week during varying shifts. Their jobs consist of tasks that depend on the needs of the client. Each companion is required to provide socialization to the client by talking, listening and, if applicable, providing guidance. Companions may be required to provide transportation to clients, for reasons such as doctor's appointments or recreational activities.
For clients with deeper needs, assistance with respite care may be provided. If services outside of senior companionship are needed, the companion may contact community programs to advocate on the client's behalf. Many clients need help with personal care, including grooming and feeding, as well as with any exercises prescribed by physical or occupational therapists. Additionally, some companions are in charge of managing the client's home by cleaning, organizing and preparing meals.
Qualifications to become a senior companion include a high school diploma or GED, significant experience working with seniors, a driver's license and access to an insured vehicle, a clean background check and the ability to pass a drug test. Applicants should be physically able to perform job duties and able to provide personal and work-related references.