Your elderly mother still lives alone in the house you grew up in, and you live over two hours away. The last few times that you visited mom something just didn’t seem right. There were piles of dirty laundry, she looked unkept, and the fridge was almost empty. After discussing your concerns with mom she’s reluctantly agreed to take on a “personal assistant” to help her with chores. Choosing a senior caregiver for an aging in place loved one can be hard. Using these tips should help make your search a more rewarding one.
What Type of Care is Needed?
First, sit down with your loved one and assess their home care needs. How sharp is mom’s memory? Can she still drive? Is she having trouble walking or negotiating stairs?
Some of the activities of daily living (ADLs) that a senior might need help with include:
- Toileting and incontinence
- Medication reminders and refills
- Food shopping, meals and feeding assistance
- Bill paying
Based on what you’ve learned compile a list of ADLs that your senior needs assistance with.
How to Find the Right Caregiver
If you’re like most informal caregivers, you also manage a household and at least a part-time job. Unless there’s a trusted family member or neighbor nearby, it may be necessary to hire a professional caregiver for mom. Here’s how to start the process of choosing a senior caregiver:
Search online for the names of caregivers where mom lives, including home care agencies. Whittle down your list by only including providers that can deliver the level of care and types of services that your loved one needs. Realistically your senior’s mental and physical health will eventually get worse so don’t forget to consider any future caregiving needs that may require more intensive care.
Read what clients have to say about the caregiver or agency, including comments about their professionalism and level of care. Online reviews are a reliable source of information, along with client testimonials posted on social media pages or websites.
Training and experience
Look for a well-trained caregiver who’s experienced at caring for someone with the same needs that your loved one has. Have they worked with seniors who have dementia or a terminal illness before? Most home care agencies provide ongoing staff training, including when a new employee first comes on board.
Reputable home care agencies carefully screen their employees in advance, including criminal and driving background checks. If you are hiring a private caregiver, you’ll need to screen them beforehand to be sure they can be trusted in your senior’s home.
If mom’s primary caregiver gets sick or goes on vacation what’s the backup plan? If they’re a one-person operation you may have to take time off work to ensure that your loved one is being taken care of. Most home care agencies can easily provide a fill-in caregiver if the primary one isn’t available.
Personality and compatibility
Once you’ve narrowed down your search list to few candidates it’s time for all of you to meet in person. This face-to-face screening interview will give you a chance to see if the personalities of the two most important parties involved mesh. If possible, leave the caregiver and your senior alone for a few minutes to see if they are compatible.
Before signing any contracts make sure that all fees associated with the home care are clearly stated. Ask the caregiver or agency supervisor about insurance plans they accept, including Medicaid and private insurance. Also find out if they offer flexible caregiving packages and hourly billing options.
Your Trusted Home Care Source in Bradenton, FL
Choosing a senior caregiver can be a daunting task, but once you’ve convinced your aging parent to accept the idea of “home care”, contact First In Care. We are a fully licensed and insured agency with carefully screened employees that love keeping seniors safe and comfortable so they can continue living right where they want to be. With a focus on your senior’s dignity, independence and self-esteem, our compassionate caregivers can perform in-home services ranging from personal care and companionship, to 24-hour care.
Under the direction of an RN case manager, our experienced aides will serve as an extended family in your loved one’s home no matter where that happens to be! And, we also accept long-term care insurance and V.A. payments. To learn more about First In Care today, or to speak with a home care advisor about a senior in Manatee County, FL, please visit us at: www.firstincare.com.