When you have a physical disability sometimes getting a car adapted is an option but that is not always a choice for everyone. Some disabled people like myself can never drive because visual impairment issues make it difficult so the only way we can leave our home is if someone offers to take you which in my experience isn’t often. When you can’t leave your home a lot sometimes insurance will pay for a companion which is basically a person that comes to your house and is paid to spend time with you. Before I had surgery I was approved to get a companion and I don’t want to say it was a bad experience because she was a nice lady and treated me well but there were lots of things that she did that bothered me and could have been improved on. In this post I am going to talk about my companion experience and why I didn’t really like my first aide.
My time didn’t feel important– When your being paid to hang out with someone it is just rude to not give them your full attention for those couple of hours! During the time I was with my companion I didn’t feel like my time was that important to her because she was on the phone constantly and you couldn’t get her off of it. We were always at places a lot longer than I would have liked because it took forever for her to realize that I was trying to get her attention and I was ready to leave like thirty minutes ago that it got to the point I started ditching her at stores I was familiar with. I understood that she was trying to run a second business and probably had too much on her plate but that is no excuse for making people feel ignored because when you do that your not doing the job you’re paid to do! I don’t mind if you answer a few phone calls when we are out but if that is your only priority then that’s a major problem.
She always brought tons of people– I am a quiet person and sometimes people make the mistake of my quietness for complete misery! I don’t like crowds and going to parties is very stressful to me that I don’t even want a party for when I turn thirty which is next year in case you were wondering. When I would hang out with my aide she would often bring tons of people to try and make it so I would have more fun. I’ll give her credit for trying to help me have more fun but forcing me to hang out with a bunch of strangers that clearly wanted nothing to do with me is what I call an anxiety attack and not fun! I don’t mind hanging out with a group of people I know but when you force me to hang out with a bunch of people I’ve never met it’s more exhausting than enjoyable. I never had the heart to tell her that bringing all these people was worsening my anxiety because I was afraid that she would not understand and would think that I was being rude.
Made a scene a lot- I don’t get embarrassed easily because my disability makes it so I have been in many awkward situations. When I was with my companion I was embarrassed often because there was no telling restaurant workers that I am disabled quietly but announcing it instead so everyone knew I had entered the building. People gave me so many pitiful looks when I was out with my companion because they noticed my disability which made me uncomfortable knowing that people were looking at me in that way. I know people are always curious and stare but usually, when I am doing my own thing I don’t notice the staring unless it’s particularly obvious. I am all about creating a scene if you’re being rude and refusing accessibility but a lot of the time it wasn’t necessary was just not happening immediately or a misunderstanding.
My companion was a very nice person that loved her job but I do wish she spent less time on the phone and more time interacting because we may have had a bond if that would have happened. It’s hard to find a good companion because they are government employees that don’t get paid well so most of them are not great. I think my companion had my best interest at heart but because she was involved with so many other things my time was not prioritized. I am currently not working with any companions because my last one did quit for personal reasons and it’s kinda hard to hang out with someone when you’re doing rehab twice a week! Hanging out with a companion is not the same experience as hanging out with your sister but it still can be fun if you are connected with the right person. I think it wasn’t as fun for me because I was connected with someone who was extremely extroverted and I am an introvert. Our personalities were completely opposite of each other and I would have been better matched with someone more introverted but we did have some good times. Do you have a companion and what was your experience?
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