The decision to provide an in home caregiver for an aging relative is not one to be taken lightly. However, in order to consider this valuable option; it is imperative that safe, reliable, and skilled in-home care be available.
Furthermore, having an in-home caregiver can offer older adults a sense of independence that a long-term care facility simply can’t provide. But finding the right caregiver can be challenging at times. Therefore, we have outlined what to look for when hiring an in-home caregiver.
Start with the best in-home caregiver source
Finding an in-home caregiver through a healthcare professional or a reputable agency will more than often eliminate the stress of finding a quality care provider. Although it’s possible to acquire sufficient care through freelance providers, there are also some disadvantages. Hiring through an agency, although more expensive, will provide families with pre-screened caregivers. In addition, it will alleviate burdensome costs such as accounting, insurance, and taxes.
However, families should avoid agencies that hire caregivers on an independent contractor basis. This puts families in a difficult situation. According to tax and labor laws, caregivers are not considered independent contractors, so they fall under the same tax and insurance responsibilities as freelance caregivers. Furthermore, work-related injuries may be excluded under homeowners insurance when families hire independent contractors. It may not be wise to take this route.
Overall, dependable in-home care agencies contribute to the comfort and reliability of in-home care by performing various tasks behind the scenes.
Inquire about services
Consider your loved one’s needs and how their caregiver will likely have to assist. Home health care, which offers more complex services, should not be confused with in-home caregivers who prepare meals, clean daily, monitor medications, transport, and do some light housekeeping. Consider your insurance policy when your loved one requires both medical and non-medical care. In addition, the services that the agency will provide should be specified in writing.
Also, take into account how many hours and days your loved one will require care. You should make sure that the caregiver’s schedule is compatible with that of your loved one.
Skill and experience matter
A caregiver’s compatibility with your senior, as well as their skills and experience, are essential. Ask the candidate questions about their background, previous work experience, specific training pertaining to the type of care you are looking for, and what they would do in difficult situations. For those living with special needs such as dementia, mobility issues, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions, seeking out an in-home caregiver knowledgeable about these conditions is crucial to their safety and well-being.
Always ask for references
There is no such thing as being too safe when dealing with loved ones. Despite the fact that your agency handles background checks, it is a great idea to ask your caregiver or agency for references. Previous clients of a potential caregiver can attest to their skill and experience, giving you more confidence in their ability to care for your loved one.