When your loved one is aging and needs extra care, finding the right care can be nerve wracking. Families are complex; siblings don’t agree, parents resist help, and finances can get in the way. However, there is a way to structure these decisions in order to minimize drama and disruption.
How to avoid the common errors of home care decisions:
Hire a professional home care agency at the outset: Family members trying to coordinate care can be difficult at best. Hiring a reliable caregiver avoids exhaustion and resentment.
Engage key family members: Ask siblings or other important family members to sit it on interviews with caregivers. Engaging them allows them to express their concerns, increases buy-in and helps to ensure that everyone has the same expectations about the delivery of care.
Nice isn’t the only thing: Try to avoid focusing on one factor in the caregiver search. A caregiver can be nice, but if they aren’t backed up by a strong agency, you may not have the support you are looking for. Seek a balance between the right caregiver for the right price from a reputable agency.
Steady staffing: Select an agency that provides consistent staffing. Caregivers are always more successful when they can develop a relationship with the senior. Ask how many caregivers your loved one is apt to have every week. The same two or three staff members rotating over weeks and months is fine; more than that and you need to find a better agency.
Know the financial picture: Sit down with the agency and review the pricing structure of the agency so you won’t be surprised by hidden costs.
Speak the same language: Be very, very detailed with the agency and the caregiver about your loved one’s needs. Does lunch mean a hot meal or a sandwich? Does medication adherence mean checking to see if the medications were taken or actually handing them to your loved one? Discuss your loved one’s cognition and if there are any deficits. It’s important for caregivers to know if memory is an issue.
Don’t walk away: Yes it is a relief to hire a caregiver, but stay involved. Check in with your elderly family member and ask pointed questions about their care. Does the caregiver arrive on time? Counsel your loved one not to be trusting; hide the checkbook and valuables, even if the caregiver is vetted. There is no reason to tempt fate.
Home care you can trust
LivHOME’s Care Management solution offers professional guidance for caregiving, housing, legal, financial, health, and special needs. Life Care Managers specialize in medication oversight, emotional and psychological support, and social planning and engagement to enhance your loved one’s quality of life. Our Life Care Managers at LivHOME would be happy to create a plan that will exceed your loved one’s needs and provide you with peace of mind.
To get started, call (800) 660-CARE or schedule a free home care consultation.