VAN WERT — Medical assistance are not the only needs many senior citizens face. For some, a good conversation helps keep them thinking straight and feeling better.

With that in mind, Community Health Professionals, Inc. is beginning a pilot program later this month. It is a new, non-medical senior companion service , called Hometown Helpers.

The companionship program offers caregivers who will spend time with seniors, providing socialization and assistance with living tasks like grocery shopping, errands, playing games, reading, transportation to appointments, eating a meal together, feeding a pet and more.

“Whether you live across the country or across the street from your aging family members, it helps to know they have someone nearby who can check in and spend time with them,” said CHP President/CEO Brent Tow. “We hope to provide piece of mind for family members knowing they have a friendly companion who visits their loved one regularly.”

Tow said a companionship aide can keep help a loved one stay socially engaged at home, and also continuing to visit friends, family, and other social events. The aide can also provide healthy interaction and activity that is vital for seniors in retaining cognitive abilities and physical health.

Services will be billed on an hourly basis at an affordable rate, according to Tow. There will be a minimum of a two-hour service.

“We believe that we are the most affordable, local companion service available,” he said.

The new service may also provide high school and college students an opportunity to work in their community. CHP will be hiring people, age 16 and older with a driver license and reliable vehicle at $8.50 an hour. Hours will be part-time and flexible. An option to fulfill volunteer service requirements is also available.

Tow stated that interested individuals should complete an application and may be contacted as cases become available. Job applications can be picked up at Private Duty Services 1157 Westwood Dr., Van Wert.

Companionship services can be initiated by a family member who is concerned about a parent or grandparent, or by the client when they have a need for help in the home, according to Tow.

“Sometimes, just a little time and companionship are all the help that’s needed,” he added.

Families interested in learning more about companionship services should call (419) 238-3714.