Seniors return to work and make a difference

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Whether it’s to help with household bills or simply to take a break from retirement, a number of seniors have returned to work as home health companions.

These companions — or home-makers — help elderly, disabled and ill persons live in their own homes instead of in a health facility. The U.S. Department of Labor expects job opportunities in the field to remain “excellent,” and experts say seniors may be particularly well suited for the job, since they tend to understand the special needs of aging.

Indeed, today, many retired seniors are finding new meaning in their lives by becoming a companion to someone who needs a little extra support. But those with little experience and a desire to make a difference are helping, too.

Finding Jobs

Companies such as Interim HomeStyle Services hire companions to work with clients who need more extensive care than their family or friends can provide, or who don’t have someone living nearby.

In general, these companions provide health-related services such as bathing, washing hair, helping with exercises and monitoring the individual to ensure medication has been taken.

The company also hires “homemakers,” who provide mainly housekeeping support such as making beds, shopping and preparing meals, vacuuming and light dusting. Companions also provide social support such as reading stories or helping someone write letters to friends or family.

The daily routines of each job may vary. A person might go to the same home every day for months or even years. However, many of the company’s staff work with a number of different clients, each job lasting a few hours, days or weeks. In fact, it’s that flexibility and variation that have helped draw many seniors to the field, as well as the satisfaction of spending time with people who value the service.

For more information, visit the Web site www.interimhealth care.com/homestyle. To find an office near you, call 800-944-8888.

seniorwalker.jpgAbandoning the idea of traditional retirement, a number of older
Americans are re-entering the workforce and choosing the home care
field.

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