Many seniors prefer to age in the comfort and familiarity of home, but they may need additional care to do this. Family members can help by providing care, but as a family caregiver, you may feel overwhelmed by the task of providing constant attention to an aging loved one. 24-hour care may be needed in some scenarios, while intermittent care is helpful in others.
Whether your family situation is in need of continual support or care just a few hours a week, respite care is a viable option.
Hiring a caregiver is an important task. A professional caregiver has a significant impact on the well-being of the senior in your life. Caregivers should be trusted to provide compassionate, skilled care to your loved one.
When you’re ready to hire an in-home caregiver, consider the following factors that will ease the process.
1. Improve your psychological well-being
One of the most recognizable benefits of hiring in-home help is that the extra support relieves the family caregiver of the stress, depression and exhaustion often associated with caring for an aging parent.
As the family caregiver, you may have a family of your own to manage or a career you’d rather not put on hold. Hiring a professional caregiver gives you time to tend to your own life and assurance that your loved one is receiving proper care.
If you’re in doubt about hiring an extra hand, know that a professional caregiver is a benefit to both you and your aging loved one.
2. Understand the variations of care
A caregiver’s background determines under which of three categories he or she falls. Hiring the most appropriate caregiver based on the senior’s needs will affect the type of caregiver you should be looking for:
- Personal care attendants: General help with household chores, light housekeeping and cooking can be provided by a PCA.
- Home health care: Simple medical care can be performed by a qualified home health aide. Support with activities of daily living is also offered by trained home health aides.
- Certified nursing assistants: A license is required to perform work as a certified nursing assistant. CNAs receive training and must pass an exam in order to be licensed. Working under the supervision of a registered nurse, a CNA is medically trained to change wound dressings, check for vital signs and help with bathing and eating.
3. Vet all potential caregivers
Caregiving is an important job. You’re allowing a stranger into your home to look after the well-being of a loved one. Finding the best fit is key when hiring a caregiver. During interviews, ask plenty of questions about the caregiver’s relevant experience, qualifications, and skill level. Contact their references as well.
Use a three-step interview process:
- Discuss basic qualifications via phone
- Meet in person to conduct an interview
- Invite top candidates to meet with your loved one.
When you’re working with a home care agency, the agency performs the employee screenings, background checks and reference checks. An agency will also meet with you and the care recipient to discuss his or her condition in order to send the most qualified caregiver.
Nevertheless, when the agency sends a caregiver to your home, watch how the individual interacts with your loved one. If the caregiver’s personality balances that of your loved one or if they share common interests, it’s an ideal fit. If the caregiver is not appropriate for your loved one, you can request that the agency send a replacement until you are comfortable with the selection.
4. Set clear expectations
Seniors have varying needs. Some elderly individuals may be physically capable of the majority of daily activities, but need help with transportation to the grocery store or to doctor’s appointments. Other elderly individuals may require far more involved support, such as help with incontinence, hygiene, bathing and grooming.
Once you are aware of the level of help your loved one needs, ensure that the caregiver understands where help is needed. If you hire a caregiver, create a job description that entails all the tasks to be accomplished. Examples of expected duties might include picking up medications, cleaning or cooking. Sometimes, caregivers are just expected to offer companionship to a senior.
If working with a home care agency, discuss the plan of care with your contact at the agency.
5. Develop a caregiving team
If hiring a caregiver independently, consider hiring two senior care professionals. An alternate caregiver can replace the primary caregiver in the event of planned vacations and unanticipated sick days. Families also should be aware that turnover is high in the caregiving field and to plan appropriately.
A second benefit of creating a caregiving support team is that a caregiver leaving the first shift can debrief the next shift’s caregiver of any issues or concerns.
Home care agencies are staffed appropriately, with the resources to send a substitute caregiver if a caregiver calls in sick or goes on vacation.
6. Hire through an agency or independently
Families hire caregivers in one of two ways: through a home care agency or independently. Word of mouth can lead to suitable hires. Nurse registries include the contact information of licensed caregivers who are available for hire. Home care agencies offer a more streamlined approach to hiring caregivers, managing all aspects of a caregiver’s employment.
The difference between hiring via an agency and independently is cost. The comprehensive services provided by a home care agency make this option pricier but worth it the extra few dollars.
Assisting Hands Home Care
When working with a home care agency is the ideal path for you and your loved one, Assisting Hands Home Care in Fort Myers will support you through every step. As a licensed, bonded and insured agency, you can trust our team of experienced home health professionals to provide optimum service you and the care recipient can rely upon.
We will initiate a discussion with your family to formulate a customized elderly care plan that best benefits your loved one. In the event of immediate need, trained and certified caregivers can be dispatched to your home within 48 hours of your call.
Get a Free Consultation
You can rely on compassionate home care from Assisting Hands Home Care for your loved ones. We dependably serve the elder populations in the Fort Myers, FL community.
To schedule a free consultation to discuss your loved one’s needs and how we can help, give us a call at (239) 221-6326.