When caring for an elderly loved one becomes too much for you to handle, it is time to consider hiring professional help. Fortunately, the options available to pay for home care are extensive and include traditional insurance policies, long term care insurance, and state and federal programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
In addition to cost, there are many other factors to consider when choosing the right caregiver agency near me to meet your needs. Some of the most important are: the level of care required (companion, homemaker or aide), the type of caregiving experience desired (first aid training, nursing degree or not) and the availability of other family members to provide backup support.
Once you have narrowed down your choices, hold a family meeting to discuss the need for and cost of care. Involving the entire family in the discussion will surface concerns that may not have been raised informally and it can also be helpful to gain commitments from others to contribute to the cost of care.
The family should also establish a list of “must-have” and “nice-to-have” qualities in a prospective caregiver. These could include the aforementioned qualifications, as well as personal characteristics such as patience and an upbeat personality. The family should also clearly define the duties and responsibilities that are expected of the caregiver. For example, what tasks are to be performed on a weekly basis? What are the hours of work? Will the caregiver be driving a care receiver? What will be the arrangement for reimbursing mileage? Should the care recipient have a special diet? Are there any pet peeves that the caregiver should be aware of, such as smoking or the need for a quiet atmosphere?
Before hiring a caregiver, it is important to meet them. It is a good idea to have an initial “getting to know you” session in the care receiver’s home, where they can practice interacting with each other. This will give the caregiver a chance to show they are comfortable with their surroundings and can get a feel for the level of care that is required. It is also a good time to discuss the visitation policy, petty cash allowance, vacation and holiday schedule and other employment related issues.
Once a caregiver has been hired, it is essential to train them to perform the specific duties to your satisfaction. This can be done through written materials or a more hands-on approach where you can show them how to do things, such as cooking and cleaning. It is also a good idea to provide a copy of the care recipient’s medical history and to explain the procedures you want them to follow, such as turning off their alarm clock at night. Finally, it is a good idea to provide the caregiver with an emergency kit, a list of doctors and clinics and where the stove, fire extinguisher, flashlight and first aid kit are located. This will ensure that your loved one gets the best possible care. caregiver agency near me