Companion Program

The Companion Program serves a dual purpose: to provide workers who can assist older adults by providing companionship and light homemaker services, and to provide employment to older workers who would like to offer their time and life experience.

Resources for Seniors trains individuals age 50 and up through a two-week course that includes both class time and a brief internship. Only those who satisfactorily complete the course are listed on the Companion Registry.

Some of the topics covered in the course are CPR, first aid, home safety, the difference between dementia and confusion, and other related subjects. Companions have NOT been trained to provide hands-on personal care that a nurse or certified nursing assistant (CNA) can provide, such as bathing or giving medication.

If personal care assistance is needed, it is up to the family, the senior adult, and the companion to clarify what tasks will be performed.

Although we have listed those individuals who have completed our Companion training program, they are not employees or agents of Resources for Seniors. Our agency is in no way responsible for any acts or omissions by the companion during his/her period of employment with you or while he/she is in your home.

Download Companion Registry

If you want more information or if you would like to receive training and be listed on the Registry, call us at 919-872-7933 or email us.

  1. Interview the person face to face. Ask to see some type of identification, such as a driver's license. Record the person's name, address, phone number, date of birth, and social security number. It may be helpful to have the person complete an application which you have designed.
  2. Ask about any special training the person may have received (Certified Nursing Assistant training, companion training, classes on Alzheimer's Disease or aging issues, CPR, etc.).
  3. Ask what kind and how much experience the person has had in caring for older adults.
  4. Obtain names, addresses, and phone numbers of references for the person. Contact each one and ask how the person performed his/her responsibilities. Would the former employer recommend this person?
  5. Ask if the person has a criminal record. You can do a local check through the City/County Bureau of Investigation.
  6. Ask if the person has reliable transportation for getting to and from work. If he/she will be providing transportation for the older adult, does he/she have a valid driver's license, reliable vehicle, liability insurance, and a good driving record?
  7. Does the person have any significant physical health, mental health or substance abuse problems which would affect his/her work?
  8. Discuss environmental concerns such as smoking, wearing strong perfumes, pets.
  9. Discuss the responsibilities of the position, such as the following:
    • Meals: How many/what type of meals need to be prepared? Will the employee eat meals with the older adult?
    • Grocery Shopping: How often? With or without the older person? How will the grocery bill be paid?
    • Transporting the Client: Whose car will be used? Will the employee be paid for mileage if the employee's car is used?
    • Housekeeping: What specific tasks should be performed and how often?
    • Personal Care: What type, if any,would be needed?
    • Medication Supervision: Provide written instructions listing the name of each medication, its purpose, how often it is taken and dosage.
    • Emergency Problems: Provide written information regarding the older adult's health condition. Include the primary physician's name and telephone number, as well as instructions about what to do and who to contact in certain emergencies.
  10. Arrange for the older adult to meet the potential employee. Notice the rapport. Does the relationship seem compatible?
  11. Develop a written agreement, signed by the employee. Include the responsibilities listed above and terms of employment such as the following:
    • Starting date
    • Hours of work
    • Wages: Review IRS publications regarding withholding/paying Social Security and other taxes (see for info). Also review deductions for dependent care expenses.
    • Compensation for sick/vacation days, if any. Procedure for notifying employer of sickness and vacations.
    • Terminating employment: How much advance notice should be given by employer or employee if the arrangement is terminated.

Arranging for Live-In Care

In addition to the above guidelines, also specify the following terms in writing:

  • Specify areas in the homes designated for the live-in person's use.
  • Will the person buy, store, and prepare food in a common area with the older adult, or separately?
  • Will the live-in be allowed to smoke, consume alcohol, or have a pet?
  • Specify guest privileges. Under what conditions can the person entertain guests?
  • Designate "quiet hours" if the television or music could pose a noise problem.