7 Things You Need to Know About Hiring an In-Home Caregiver
If your loved one needs help in meeting day-to-day needs, one solution is to hire an in-home caregiver. An in-home caregiver allows your loved one to remain as independent as possible while getting assistance with anything from basic daily tasks to medical procedures and therapies. However, the actual process of deciding what you need and finding the right person can be a bit overwhelming. These tips can help get you started finding the perfect person to provide care for your loved one.
1. What Kind of Caregiving is Needed?
In-home care is not a one-size-fits-all service. Take some time to determine exactly what tasks your loved one will need help with. Some seniors only require assistance with housekeeping duties such as cooking, cleaning, or laundry. Others may need help running errands or getting to appointments.
On another level, you may need someone to assist with ADL’s (activities of daily living) like getting in or out of bed, getting dressed, or bathing. Or you may be looking for someone who is qualified to administer medications, care for wounds, or provide therapies or dementia care.
2. Winning the Patient Over
Understandably, many seniors are uncomfortable with the idea of having a stranger come into their homes. It may be helpful to talk about hiring a “housekeeper” rather than a caregiver. This will give them some time to become comfortable with the new person and ease into other caregiving tasks that may be necessary.
You can also put your loved one at ease by being present as much as possible in the beginning to help the new caregiver get accustomed to his or her new role. That way, if your loved one likes things done a certain way, you’ll be on hand to make sure the caregiver gets an explanation.
3. Paying for In-Home Care
Depending on the extent of help that your loved one needs, in-home care can be expensive. If your loved one has savings or assets like life-insurance policies, annuities, or property, it may be appropriate to use these to help cover the costs.
Ideally, the one in need of care would have some form of long-term care insurance. If not, in some cases, health insurance policies, Medicare, or Medicaid, might cover the costs of in-home care if they are determined to be medically necessary.
It’s also a good idea to look at your own budget and determine ahead of time what, if anything, you can afford to contribute towards the care of your loved one. You may also want to check with other family members to see if they can pitch in.
4. Setting a Schedule
Before you begin your actual search, you’ll want to have some idea of the kind of care-giving schedule your loved one will require. Obviously your budget will play a role in how much time your care giver will spend with your loved one. Your own schedule may also determine which days or times of day you need someone to provide care.
If you are hoping to have someone in the home for only a few hours a day, decide when will be the most important times. For example, if your loved one needs help dressing or bathing, you will probably want to find someone who is available in the mornings.
5. How to Find a Caregiver
The first thing you’ll want to determine is whether you want to hire independently or go through an agency. An agency is likely to be more expensive but is also probably much more convenient. They will take care of things like paperwork, taxes, and payroll.
If you choose to hire someone independently, you may be able to find a recommendation through friends, medical staff, or your local senior citizens organization. You might also find a qualified person by checking classified ads. Depending on the duties they will need to perform, make sure that the person you hire has the proper license (home health aide, CNA, LVN) and insurance. You’ll also want to perform a background check and ask for references. Decide ahead of time whether you want to pay the caregiver as an employee or a contractor. It may be helpful to consult a lawyer or an accountant to make sure that you’re covering all of your legal and financial bases.
It’s important to involve everyone in the hiring process. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that the one receiving the care is comfortable with the choice, but other family members will probably have concerns, too. Even if you have been the primary caregiver, they may want a chance to meet the prospective caregivers to see who they feel the most comfortable with.
6. Have a Backup Plan
Your in-home caregiver will play a vital role in the care of your loved one, and you will depend on them to fulfill their responsibilities. However, unexpected circumstances arrive from time to time, so you need to decide in advance what you will do if your in-home caregiver is sick, takes a vacation, or is unable to assist you for some other reason.
If you have chosen to use an agency, they will take care of this for you, as they usually have a pool of workers available to cover when necessary. However, if you have hired independently, you may need to take time off from your own schedule or find someone else who is willing and qualified to assist your loved one from time to time.
7. Stay Involved
Good communication is essential to maintain a good relationship with the in-home caregiver and to make sure that your loved one’s needs continue to be met. Schedule times for regular meetings in order to give both of you a chance to ask questions or voice concerns. Keep the caregiver informed about changes in your loved one’s condition, and if their responsibilities need to be adjusted to adapt to those changes.
It’s also important to check in with your loved one about how the caregiver is performing their duties. Every once in a while, ask your loved one how things are going and try to determine whether their needs are being met.
Keep an eye on their finances as well. Although it is rare, the occasional caregiver has taken advantage of elderly clients. So if you notice unusual withdrawals from bank accounts or anything else suspicious, it’s worth it to investigate.
Visit the Davis Community’s Assisted Living and SNF in Wilmington NC
If you or loved one are no longer capable of living a safe, independent lifestyle, then call the Davis Community today at 910.686.7195 or simply complete and submit our online information request form. We provide exceptional assisted living and skilled nursing services in Wilmington, NC with a strong and supportive environment where your loved one will feel welcomed and part of an active community. Get to know the difference today — schedule a visit to the Davis Community!