Hire a Caregiver for Your Aging Parents
Are you a full-time worker with growing children and a busy life, to say the least? As your parents are aging, they may need more attention and care, but you feel like you simply cannot provide them with the help they need. Do you live in a different town or state, and do not have the physical means to be there for your elderly mother and father when they need it most? Maybe you are nearby, visit them regularly, and are ready and willing to assist them in their older age as much as possible, but you just do not have the knowledge of a nurse. You want what is best for your parents, especially as they become sick and vulnerable. You should consider hiring a caregiver to look after your mother and father, especially if they do not want to live in a nursing home.
Nursing homes are suitable for many elders, but your parents cannot part with their precious home. Depending on their capabilities, they may still be able to move around the house, but simply need a little extra help with certain tasks. Even with limited abilities, they may not want to move from their familiar surroundings and lose their independence. An in-home caregiver is the solution to all of these scenarios. Your parents will be happy staying in their house, and you will have peace of mind knowing they are safe and sound.
What Is a Caregiver?
A caregiver is a trained worker that provides services to help those in need to live as independently as possible. Services may involve basic tasks like meal preparation and light housekeeping, to more personal needs, like bathing and grooming. Each patient will receive a customized plan in order to suit specific needs. Some elders need more support than others. Just as you would be cautious of hiring a babysitter or daycare worker for your children, without knowing more about them, there are several factors to consider when hiring a caregiver for your mother and father. Certain questions that cross your mind may include:
- What type of training and certification does the caregiver have?
- Does the caregiver work individually or for a company?
- What payment methods are acceptable?
- Is the caregiver available 365 days a year?
- What if the caregiver is sick and cannot make it to complete the tasks?
- How do I know the caregiver is fulfilling each task?
These basic questions do not even mention the complications with taxes, liability, insurance, and other complex matters. You need a caregiver that can respond to these questions with the answers which fit your lifestyle. You must always feel comfortable and trust the caregiver. There is a specific way to go about hiring a caregiver that will allow you to sleep soundly at night.
Already HomeCare outlines particular programs and services that caregivers specialize in. As mentioned before, sometimes caregivers are helpful with the standard duties, like transportation or laundry, but in other cases, they need to offer specific assistance.
One disease that many elders need assistance with is dementia and Alzheimer’s care. This difficult stage in life can be frustrating for everyone involved. Memory loss can make family members sad and the patient mad, among a wide range of other feelings. The most important thing to remember is you are not alone in this struggle. Specialized caregivers are trained to deal with the complexities of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Whether your mother and father are in early stages of the disease, or deal with a full-blown memory loss, they can still live comfortable at home. In fact, it may be more beneficial to stay in the house they have loved for so many years, because it is a familiar setting. The qualified caregiver is available as much as possible in order to set boundaries, ensure safety, avoid a crisis, and handle any emergencies.
Another issue that affects elderly patients is incontinence care. A critical factor to remember when searching for this type of help is that you should not be embarrassed or ashamed. In fact, it is very common among adults over 40 years old. Caregivers are taught to deal with incontinence situations with patience and management. There are a few basic steps to assist elders dealing with this problem, including offering friendly reminders, encouraging lifestyle changes, teaching about bladder health, and managing the problem with effective products. Through proper training and knowledge, caregivers will change the patient and teach other family members to deal with the situation in the most helpful and positive manner possible.
Although both dementia and incontinence care need supervised care, there are several other scenarios in which a parent would require long-term care. An ongoing illness will need more constant care as the days and months progress. Depending on the healthcare needs, different types of services will be required. When dealing with long-term care, it is important to outline everything you expect your caregiver to do. A customized plan needs to be implemented in order to fulfill the needs of your father or mother. This plan also needs to be reviewed regularly to consistently help the patient as their illnesses change.
The home care assessment program will help you develop a long-term plan, as well as offer answers for your questions dealing with any other type of caregiver services.
A Safety Plan
The next step in the home care program assessment involves making a safety plan. Because the safety of your loved one is a top priority, all obstacles or elements that may be a risk factor are discussed thoroughly. Some safety issues may include fall risks and other specific dangers. A trained caregiver can provide insight and experience as to what needs to be done in order to reduce harm and avoid accidents altogether.
The first step with the program is a consultation between you, the patient, and the caregiver. This free in-home assessment can be scheduled based on your agenda for your convenience. The process will discuss the individualized needs of your mother and father, including home care services like:
- Hygiene needs
- Meal preparation
- Light housekeeping
- Mobility assessment
- Dementia and Alzheimer’s care
- Incontinence care
- Long-term care
As mentioned before, your mother or father may need specialized care beyond the basic needs of living. This will also be discussed at your consultation. It is critical to mention any new or ongoing diseases, so the caregivers can assist in the best way possible.
Regular Follow Ups
One of the crucial points of in-home care is making sure that the plan is always helpful to the patient. As the patients needs change, so should their plans. Already HomeCare offers regular follow ups to review care services. Home Care Pulse, a third-party client, is a non-biased source that surveys patients to learn how they feel about their caregivers and services. It is 100 percent HIPAA-compliant and completely confidential. Every single month, the survey will allow caregivers to focus their efforts on what is working successfully and what areas need improvement.
Already HomeCare offers each client with access to the FamilyCARES Portal. This is a high-tech tool that provides family members with real-time visibility and personal involvement with the care of a parent. It does not matter if you are across the town or across the country; you will be able to see first-hand the type of care your loved one is receiving.
Qualifications to Look For in Caregivers
When it comes to selecting a caregiver for your mother and father, it is okay to be picky. In fact, you should be very particular about whom you hire to care for your loved one. Any healthcare companies that hire caregivers should ensure they are empathetic and understand the needs of all the clients. With that being said, a behavioral assessment should be performed on each potential caregiver. This analyzes the psychological profiles, behavioral traits, and personality tests through a professional institute. This will allow you to select the best caregiver for your particular situation. Because of the high standards of testing, you will not have to worry about reliability, dishonesty, and other worrisome qualities.
The interview process will not only reveal the caregiver’s true intentions, but it will also address all the standardized working requirements. This includes verification of previous employers, driving records, and drug tests. A background check should include educational, local, and federal information. Overall, the qualification process will determine fact from fiction, and discover who is best for your loved one.
One guarantee Already HomeCare offers that all caregivers should commit to is the fast service response guarantee. This enables caregivers to respond to emergency situations. Within four hours or less, the trained staff will visit you to address any urgent needs. If for any reason your request is not met on time, your service will be free for that day. It is essential that you hold your caregiver to equally high standards. In fact, you should not settle for anything but the best in quality care. Your caregiver should receive continuous training and education in order to provide the unsurpassed care available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
Please keep in mind, if your loved ones are faced with a serious emergency, they should contact 911 immediately. You should hire a caregiver that has excellence awards. Already HomeCare won the Best of Home Care “Provider of Choice” Award from Home Care Pulse in 2014. This award is given based on client satisfaction scores. As mentioned before, Home Care Pulse is a third-party company that surveys patients every single month in order to assess both positive and negative feedback.
Learn More about Already HomeCare
Already HomeCare has two locations to serve clients in Charleston and Columbia, South Carolina. It is ranked one of the top in-home care providers in the state. This staff consists of an area director Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). The position is responsible for overseeing all staff and services. He or she also develops, implements, and reviews the individualized plan of care for each client, with safety and independence as the primary focuses.
A care manager is also an asset to the team by assisting families who need specialized care for incontinence support, dementia and Alzheimer’s care, and long-term needs. Both positions require extensive education and experience in order to fulfill the roles successfully.
Derek Bullard is the founder and CEO of Already HomeCare. After witnessing the hardships his mother had caring for his grandmother and, later, his stepfather, he was determined to build a helpful company that would offer proper caregiver services. Using his experience in healthcare, he created a business that reduced the stress and anxiety of families taking care of loved ones. Through his success, he has achieved national accreditation and made the Inc. Magazine / Inc. 5000 twice, as one of the fastest growing private companies in the country. More importantly, he has helped thousands of families live a productive, healthy, and independent lifestyle.
The Bottom Line
Even when your mother and father need constant care for their health needs, there is no place like home! Whether they need basic care like housekeeping and cooking, or complex medical attention, your loved ones deserve to stay as independent as possible.
You will not have to feel guilty for not being available constantly for parents. After all, they understand you are raising a family of your own. Since you still have their best wishes at heart, you can hire a caregiver that you can trust. The right caregiver will understand your parents’ needs, be there at the drop of a dime, and love them as individual people.
Through an assessment process, background check, and asking as many questions as you want, you will discover the perfect caregiver for your parents’ needs. It does not matter if your parents need specialized services or standard care; they deserve to have a caring professional with them to complete daily tasks. Already HomeCare is here to help.