Are You Considering Hiring An At-Home Caregiver?
An at-home caregiver supports quality of life, dignity, and independence. Learn how to find the best caregiver for your loved one.
5 Tips To Find The Perfect At-Home Caregiver
According to a 2017 Statista study, 23% of US adults believed an at-home caregiver would look after them as they age. Moreover, 47% of the interviewees said that their partner would take care of them. In addition, 27% of them stated that their children would be their care providers.
Many people require special care and attention when they reach a certain age. So if you’re considering hiring a caregiver for yourself or a loved one, the following tips will ensure you find the right one.
How To Find The Right At-Home Caregiver
1. Consult Medical Professionals
Every family has its own reasons for pursuing home care, which can affect the type of home caregiver you need.
For example, suppose your elderly mother has glaucoma. While not life-threatening, her deteriorating vision may raise safety concerns because she lives alone.
Or, you may have a grandfather with balance problems and a high risk for falls. In both cases, your mother and grandfather require professional supervision to ensure their wellbeing at home.
You should talk to your parent’s doctor and other medical specialists. They can help you decide if a certified nursing assistant, personal care assistant, or home health aide is best for your loved one’s needs.
Your final choice will depend on the particular needs of your dearest ones, as well as on the availability of caregivers in your region.
2. Double-Check References
By its nature, the home health field necessitates that families provide a great deal of sensitive information. Unfortunately, this can leave families (and particularly elders) vulnerable to bad actors.
Sadly, health care fraud is on the rise in the US for two primary reasons:
- First, the number of older people is growing, which increases the need for specialized care.
- Secondly, many families are unable to provide the necessary care for their loved ones.
So, when looking for the right at-home caregiver for your beloved ones, thoroughly vet every candidate. Doing so will significantly reduce the likelihood that you or your loved one become a victim of a scam.
3. Research Legalities
If you’re going to employ a private at-home caregiver, it’s important to understand the legal implications. Therefore, make sure that you familiarize yourself with the key aspects of a personal care agreement.
A personal care agreement document contains every detail about you and the caregiver’s agreement, such as:
- Work hours
- Caregiver responsibilities
4. Hire Via A Professional Agency
While finding and hiring an at-home caregiver on your own is a viable option, it can also be a double-edged sword. Even if you spend hours vetting each candidate, there’s always a chance that something could slip under your radar.
Initially, hiring a private caregiver may be the less expensive option. However, you could face costly consequences if you hire the wrong person.
Rather than deal with the stress of hiring an at-home caregiver alone, you could work with an authorized agency. This option is beneficial for two main reasons:
First, agencies manage most of the administrative work for you. This can save you hours and ensures no detail goes overlooked.
Secondly, it removes your legal liability since the caregivers work through the agency, not you.
No matter if you opt for a short-term care contract or if you’re planning to make a long-term agreement, closing the deal with the help of an agency is a smart thing to do.
5. Promote Smooth Communication
Clear communication with caregivers is essential, but even more so if your loved one has serious medical issues.
Creating clear communication channels and processes starts before you even make a hiring decision. For example, before you conduct an interview, brainstorm a list of questions to ask, such as this list of homecare questions from the Mayo Clinic.
It also helps to write down everything that you find essential for the position. Make a point to communicate these to the caregiver during the interview and again if necessary.
As for the practical aspects of communication, make sure to give the caregiver all necessary contact information, including yours, your loved one’s doctor, nearby relatives or friends, and anyone else involved in their care plan.
Provide plenty of details about your loved one’s daily routines, walking and driving routes, and other minutiae. While you should be clear about rules, it’s also wise to ask for the caregiver’s professional opinion. Be willing to listen if they suggest changes to those daily routes and routines.
Get Matched With The Perfect Caregiver
Caregiving for an aging parent or elderly loved one is an extremely delicate matter, but the following steps can make the process easier:
- Talk to medical professionals to determine the level of care your loved one needs and the type of caregiver you should hire.
- Cross-check and vet all candidates to avoid falling victim to scam artists and bad actors.
- Research the legalities of employing a caregiver directly
- Consider hiring through a professional agency
- Keep communication lines open and clear
About The Author
Anne Harris is an HR specialist working for London Live-In Care. She eagerly shares her knowledge with her audience on various blogs. When she isn’t writing or attending wellness conferences, she likes to pack her rucksack, ride her day away on her bike, or spend time with her friends.