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The Difference Between Companion and Personal Care

By Jessica Deng

Many people often use the terms companion care and personal care interchangeably, but they’re not the same. While searching for in-home care services, it is important to understand the difference between personal care and companion care. Although they are both home care services, one may be a better fit than the other depending on what your loved one needs.Both companion care and personal care are non-medical assistance services. You will be able to select the right home care support for a family member, or a friend by understanding the benefits of each.

Companion Care

Companion care is a non-medical home care service that provides essential support for seniors and disabled adults. This type of assistance usually entails emotional and social support.


A companion has limited training than a personal aide/caregiver and are best for people that need non-medical help or with many aspects of daily living.


  • Offering companionship for appointments or errands
  • Picking up groceries or assisting with meal preparations
  • Playing cards or games and having conversations
  • Household chores including doing laundry, dishes
  • Transportation to and from appointments and other places


Companion care does not include medication management or direct physical assistance with daily activities such as dressing, bathing, or toileting.

Personal Care

Personal care involves all the duties performed by a companion caregiver, in addition to basic medical services. Personal caregivers are required to have formal training and either Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) or Home Health Aides (HHAs).


A personal caregiver’s primary responsibility is to assist with personal hygiene, toileting, and other personal tasks*. Personal caregivers are often hired to provide custodial care.


  • Providing hands-on care assisting with bathing, dressing, skin, mouth, and hair care
  • Perform basic grooming and cosmetic assistance
  • Assisting with the use of devices like wheelchairs or walkers
  • Take part in discussions about the client with the rest of the health care team
  • Mobility and transfer assistance

*These services may also include complex medical tasks such as wound dressings or administering medications.

What kind of care does my loved one need?

Now that you understand the difference between companion care and personal care, you know the kind of care that best fits your loved one’s needs. Both companion care and personal care are important parts of the overall health plan, especially for older adults or those with disabilities.

LifeWorx offers a wide range of services to help the elderly live their best lives. If your loved one is considering home care services like personal care or companion care, contact one of our care team members today.

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