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What are the benefits (and costs) of in-home companion care?

There is a common misconception that there are only two types of care for seniors who are not completely independent: assisted living or a nursing home. However, there are numerous solutions for the care a person receives, particularly when he or she is somewhere between requiring no care and requiring constant care.

For instance, you or your loved one may benefit from an in-home care companion. This is a person who comes to a home and provides support for someone who is neither completely independent nor dependent. Below, we explain what this involves and how much it could cost.

What does an in-home care companion do?

As this article explains, in-home care companions essentially provide the support that a person needs to maintain independent living arrangements. They also provide the companionship and personal interactions that can be crucial in improving and maintaining a person's well-being.

More specifically, they may:

  • Prepare meals
  • Run errands
  • Do some light housework
  • Drive the person to medical appointments
  • Help with grooming, hygiene and exercise
  • Routinely visit just to chat and check up on the person
  • Keep the person company

How much does an in-home care companion cost?

The cost of in-home companion care varies. Some volunteer organizations and religious groups offer similar care for little or no charge. 

However, hiring someone for the companion and homemaker services we mentioned above can cost about $4,290 per month, according to the 2019 Genworth Cost of Care Survey. The cost increases if a person has more extensive medical needs.

These are not insignificant costs, especially when a person is also paying mortgage, rent or utilities. And most people will need to pay for this type of care with their own money. That said, many people cannot put a price on retaining their independence.

As such, it is crucial to start planning for in-home companion care sooner, rather than later. This entails calculating exactly how much these services may cost, deciding on who will provide the care, and setting money aside.

We cannot predict the future; there are numerous elements that are out of our hands with regard to securing appropriate care. However, with financial support and legal guidance to identify planning tools, it can be easier to prepare for whatever the future might hold. 

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