So you noticed that your aging parents could use some help around the home and you have discussed the option of home care with them, only to agree to provide care yourself for the time being.
This is a good enough solution at the time, because you believe you can keep up with providing care for your parents while also managing your own life.
However, these weekly trips to the doctor’s office, cooking and cleaning for your parents, and helping them with their personal hygiene and grooming takes its toll.
If you feel overwhelmed acting as the caretaker for your aging parents, you are not alone. The following are some alarming statistics about family caregivers:
Family caregivers spend an average of about 20 hours per week providing care
- 1 out of 3 family caregivers is also raising a child under the age of 18
- Almost 70% of family caregivers take time off during the workday, 10% take an early retirement, and 17% take a formal leave of absence from their previous job
- Family caregivers have a 50-70% higher risk for depression symptoms
- Roughly 16% of the U.S. population provides care for someone over 50 years old.
It is time to look for help from an in-home care agency to take care of your elderly relatives. When your loved ones agree that this is the best course of action, you may not know where to begin to find a home care service provider.
The transition from being the family caregiver to hiring outside help to provide care can be difficult. Below, we have provided a list of questions that you can ask home caregivers to make the process of vetting and hiring a caretaker easier.
Here are the main questions you should ask home care agencies when interviewing them to take care of your loved ones:
- What happens if the caregiver has a last-minute emergency, gets sick, or needs to go out of town? Can you send a replacement and how fast?
- Who is responsible for paying the caregiver’s social security, federal and state taxes, and unemployment insurance?
- Are the caregivers employees of the agency?
- Have the caregivers undergone background checks as well as a state abuse registry check?
- Are they allowed to live and work legally in the U.S.?
- Who is responsible if a caregiver gets injured in a patient’s home, the care recipient or the agency? If the home care agency is not responsible for this scenario, make sure your homeowner’s insurance policy includes coverage for injuries to domestic employees.
- Is the home care company bonded and insured in case of injury or theft from the patient’s home?
- Can a caregiver be replaced in case they don’t get along with the patient?
- Can we interview the caregiver to make sure they are a good fit?
- Can you provide references from past clients?
These are some good questions to ask caregiving companies during the interview process. These questions work both ways – they will inform the caregiving agency of your expectations and their answers will help you decide if they are the right caregiver for your loved ones.