When it comes to senior care, there is a range of different options for care and assistance. Depending on the type of care you or your loved one need, you can find the right kind of care assistant for your situation.

Here are the key differences between an adult care companion and a personal care assistant (PCA).

What is Companion Care? What Does a Companion for the Elderly Do?

Companion care refers to less intensive, non-medical support. It might include light household cleaning, preparing meals, or social companionship.

What Is a Personal Care Assistant?

A PCA can do many of the same tasks as an adult companion, but he or she can also help with more intensive tasks. Below is the full list from the Minnesota Department of Health and Human Services. 

A PCA worker may assist the person with the following ADLs:

  • Dressing – Including application of clothing and special appliances or wraps
  • Grooming – Including basic hair care, oral care, shaving, basic nail care, applying cosmetics and deodorant, care of eyeglasses and hearing aids
  • Bathing – Including basic personal hygiene and skin care
  • Eating – Including completing the process of eating, including hand washing and application of orthotics required for eating, transfers and feeding
  • Transfers – Including assistance to transfer the person from one seating or reclining area to another
  • Mobility – Including assistance with ambulation, including use of a wheel chair; not including providing transportation
  • Positioning – Including assistance with positioning or turning a person for necessary care and comfort
  • Toileting – Including helping person with bowel or bladder elimination and care. This includes transfers, mobility, positioning, feminine hygiene, use of toileting equipment or supplies, cleansing the perineal area, inspection of the skin and adjusting clothing.

PCAs are great for people who might need more hands-on care.

Pros and Cons of Adult Companion Care Versus a PCA

For seniors who are recovering from an operation or are losing mobility, having someone around to do basic household tasks that involve lots of movement, such as cleaning or shopping for groceries, can be a real help.

On the other hand, if you or your loved one needs more hands-on assistance, then an adult companion will not be trained for these activities. If you’re in need of those kinds of services now or might need them soon, a PCA is the best choice.

What’s more, even just having someone else around the house can help alleviate feelings of loneliness in seniors. Nearly a quarter of people over the age of 65 experience loneliness, and it’s also been connected to other issues like dementia. Maintaining social contact is very important for senior health and well-being. Both adult companions and PCAs are perfect for reducing feelings of loneliness!

Hiring an adult companion or a PCA can help to take some of the strain off other family members as well. With someone else around, you can focus on just spending quality time with your loved one.

How Much Do You Pay a Companion?

Of course, there also needs to a consideration of cost. The average cost of adult companion care is $125/day. In comparison, in Minnesota, you can qualify for state financial support for a PCA, so it’s worth looking into whether you can qualify.

If you need some more guidance on what kind of care would suit you or your loved ones best, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Best Care team. We’re always happy to offer advice and help you find the perfect care solution.