Bellingham, WA
(360) 392-3934


Sometimes all someone needs to stay independent and engaged in their community is a little companionship with helpful hands and a watchful eye.

  • Conversation and Companionship
  • Meal Planning
  • Light housekeeping
  • Running errands
  • Driving to events and appointments
  • Accompanying clients to their doctor’s visits
  • Playing games
  • Assisting with hobbies

The risk of using unsupervised ‘friends’ or private unsupervised caregivers

Companion CareMany times, a good neighbor or close friend can fulfill that role. Unfortunately, there are many seemingly helpful people out there that take advantage of seniors living alone, preying on their vulnerability. Unfortunately, the risk of elder abuse in unsupervised care situations is very real. Even what first starts out as an authentic closeness can grow into an emotional dependency or a case of misplaced trust and/or loyalties.

Our first-hand learning experience

Even professional caregivers can sometimes overstep their professional boundaries. This is why supervision is so important. Our owners, Sharon and Steve Morris, have witnessed this first-hand when a previously used private caregiver came to visit Sharon’s mother in her assisted living residence without her families’ or guardian’s knowledge. The ex-caregiver then drove Sharon’s mother, who had just been recently diagnosed with dementia, to several of her banks trying to withdraw funds for her to retain a lawyer to get her out of the assisted living community. The ex-caregiver put herself in between the family and their own mother, resulting in tense relationships and legal fees. Sharon’s brother and her mother’s guardian filed a complaint with the Board of Nursing, which resulted in the private caregiver receiving a three-year probation of her license to practice as a Certified Nurse Aide. Sadly, the damage to the family relationship with their mother cannot be undone.

Supervisory Visits

As a licensed Home Care Agency in the state of Washington, we are required to supervise our caregivers to conduct themselves ethically and professionally. In this role, we make unannounced supervisory visits to the home to ensure that our caregiving staff is properly attired and following the approved plan of care. We also rotate caregivers from time to time to prevent bonds of dependency growing.Companion

No money or gifts accepted

We aim to provide friendly and personal companionship and we expect our caregivers to respect the professional boundaries between friendliness and friendship. To reinforce this mindset, Right at Home Northwest does not allow its care staff to accept tips, gratuities, and gifts without reporting them to the office. We understand that a client may feel compelled to offer some physical form of thanks so we allow small thank-you gifts, typically with a value less than $20.

Respecting professional boundaries

We are constantly reminding our staff that they are there in the home to provide professional and personable companionship and not to develop friendships. We think this reduces the risks of abuse and family interference and helps to make our professional companionship care worry free.

To support this goal we recruit, train, and develop our caregiving staff to exemplify the 5 Ps of what we call a 5-Star Caregiver:

  • Professional
  • Personable and friendly
  • Proficient and competent
  • Prompt and reliable
  • Passionate for our mission to improve the quality of life of those we serve

Call us today to see how we can help bring worry-free professional companionship to your loved on at 360.392.3934.

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