Are you looking for assistance at home? If you recognize that hiring elder care assistance at home for yourself or for a loved one, you’ve already gotten through the toughest hurdle. You’ve been independent your entire adult life, coming to terms with the fact that you can’t do the things you used to, and that you would benefit from assistance at home is very difficult. If you’re looking for assistance at home for your parent, recognizing that your parent — who has been the provider and caretaker for you since the day you were born — now needs help with day-to-day care is sometimes sad and makes you feel vulnerable. So if you are already at this point, we congratulate you for your bravery and courage.
Now that you recognize that in home elderly care in the direction that is best for your family, you should take care to find the right caregivers for seniors. Your parent’s well being and health (or your own) will fair best if they are comfortable with the senior helpers who take care of them, and with their new “assisted” lifestyle. We’ve put together a guide for finding the right caregivers for your loved one (or yourself):
Three Tips for Hiring In-home Caregivers
- Look Into Home Health Care Agencies
Hiring a home health care agency has a lot of advantages. First of all, your insurance is more likely to cover the cost of an in-home caretaker that works with an agency than if you hire someone directly. Secondly, the agency is responsible for ensuring that the caretakers who work with your loved one are properly trained and equipped to provide the best care. While this might be your first time hiring an in-home caretaker, your agency hires caretakers constantly, and has experience knowing what qualities to look for, and what training make them best suited for the job. Finally, if you hire your own caretaker directly, you are back at square one if they have to leave the job for some reason. Meanwhile, when you go through an agency, they will provide backup coverage to guarantee that your loved one’s needs are being met.
- Try to Maintain Realistic Expectations
We know you love your parent and want them to have the best care physically possible. If there was such a thing as Mary Poppins for elder care, you’d want that to be the caretaker you hire. However, Mary Poppins was a fictional character and you’ll find more disappointment than anything if you hold your caretaker to an impossible standard.
Hiring a caregiver means understanding what is and isn’t in their job description, so that you can best support them in providing the best care for your loved one. Your parent likely won’t be the only patient they care for, and so they won’t be able to drop everything and rush to your parent’s house in a moment’s notice. If the caregiver is hired to spend two hours with your parent per day, they’ll be able to get two hours of work done, not eight hours of care taking and home upkeep in two hours. If this is what you have in mind, you should consider hiring a housekeeper or landscaper in addition to a caretaker.
- Remain Active in the Hiring and the Care of Your Loved One
While you might not be able to find Mary Poppins to take care of you loved one, it is important that you participate in the hiring process, to identify the caretaker whose temperament compliments your parent’s.
Experience and training do a lot to prepare a caretaker to provide great care to a patient, but there is no “one size fits all” caretaker. Perhaps your parent responds best to a caretaker who is gentle and comforting. Perhaps your parent will feel the most at-ease with a take-charge kind of caretaker. One of our patients needed a caretaker who had a deep, loud voice, because even with hearing aids, she struggled to follow the words of people with subtle voices. These are decisions that you are best equipped to make on behalf of your parent.
Do you have any other tips for finding a caretaker for a loved one? Please share them below!