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When reaching the crossroad where we a loved one, requires support and/or care, can be difficult initially to distinguish exactly what kind of support is needed. This may change over time depending on the circumstances. You may have heard of both types of services, or perhaps just of one or the other.

They are often discussed within the same breath and can be used hand in hand as a good support package for those who need it. Or just one can be perfectly adequate in providing what is needed. The terms “Care” and “Companionship” offer two different types of support. Let’s have a look at some of the key differences.


A person or animal with whom one spends a lot of time.

Noun Definition

Simply put, companionship services aim to provide more emotional and social support to their clients. The companion is there to spend quality time with the individual and help with more manual tasks around the home. The key difference is a companion will not deal with the clinical needs of the client. Examples of what a companion will provide are below:

Emotional support: Providing emotional support through listening to their clients’ needs, worries or concerns. Establishing proactive ways of dealing with these concerns through talking or communicating with friends and family.

Taking time to get to know their client and being aware of why the service is being provided. For example, the client may be lonely, and family may not be local or working. Or they may have a health condition that has changed their everyday life, limiting their social interaction with others and connection with the outside world.

Social: The companion aims to build a solid trusting relationship with the client that becomes a firm friendship over time. Companions are often paired with the same client so that this can grow organically. They can assist with taking clients out on day trips, meeting friends & family and ensuring that they remain actively involved in their hobbies and passions in life. The companion aims to enable the client to continue to live as full a life as possible.

Tasks in and around the home: The companion can offer assistance with tasks around the home such as light housekeeping, tidying and cooking. They may assist with managing bills, booking appointments, and taking clients to appointments.

Choosing the right care provision can be a daunting task for anyone taking this journey. However, it is made far easier when we have all the facts of what each service provides to their clients. It can make a massive difference to the person who benefits from such services. Ultimately the aims are to ensure the individuals in question continues to lead a meaningful life, whilst being supported at home.

Personal Care

The provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone or something.

Noun Definition

Personal care aims to give assistance to individuals who may need help with day to day living and more specifically their clinical needs. This support is personal in that the carer can help the individual with personal hygiene routines such as toileting, bathing, dressing and the monitoring and administration of medication. A carer may visit an individual at various key points in the day to carry out the required care. This could be a mixture of mornings, lunchtimes, evenings, and at night if need be. Examples of what can be provided are below:

Personal hygiene: Assistance with bathing, shaving, washing hair, toileting, oral hygiene, and dressing.

Administration or prompting of medication: The carer may prompt their client to take medication or administer it to the client depending on the circumstances. They may also be required to change dressings and apply topical creams, catheter and stoma care and incontinence (dependent on relevant training).

The care provider will have clinically trained staff who will have had adequate training in areas such as safe moving and handling, medication, and safeguarding but to mention a few.

Just because a companionship service is different to a care agency, it’s not to say that they cannot work alongside one another. They both support a person’s physical and mental, of which are equally as important.

If you are looking for a companion service, please see our contacts page, we look forward to hearing from you and hope that we can be of assistance!