Parenting the parents is not an easy job. Often, elderly parents need to be taken care of just as much as a child, and providing for them single handedly is challenging.
At times, they also require care that goes beyond your skill set and time, and thus, it becomes imperative to seek help from a professional medical assistant or a trained home caregiver.
While hiring a home caregiver is a legitimate option, choosing the right one is very important but could be a daunting task.
Below, find six tips that can help you find the right home caregiver for your elderly parents:
1) Assess their needs:
While deciding to hire a home caregiver for your senior folks, the first step is to assess their needs and the level of care that they require. Start by understanding what their concerns entail. For ease of convenience, the two main types of care required can be classified as follows:
(a) Personal Care:
Bathing, cleaning, eating and washing to cooking, shopping, running errands, and catering to other daily chores.
(b) Health Care:
Medical management such as administering saline or medicines through IV, physical therapy and everyday care.
While your analysis as to the type and degree of care required is contingent, it is also worth having a conversation with your parents about the kind of support that they require before you make the necessary arrangements.
2) Make a list:
Once you have analyzed the type and degree of care required, the next step is to find the right person to provide it.
To make things simpler, you could also prepare a list or so to say a ‘Job Description’ for the caregiver and float your requirements in the market. It is also worth noting down preference as to the caregiver’s age, gender, availability, years of experience, and more. Highlight important factors such as the language proficiency that the caregiver must possess, especially if your parents communicate in a local dialect or a specific language. Also mark non-negotiables such as the possession of a driver’s license by the person if the imminent parameters for help include driving your parents to the hospital, supermarket, and so on.
Precisely listing down your requirements will not only put you in a clear position while seeking care but will also help caregivers understand what exactly you are looking for what their role entails. This can save time and make the job of hiring the right person that much simpler.
3) Rely on a reputed agency:
How will you know whether the chosen home caregiver is trustworthy? Will he or she live up to your expectations? – Questions like these are only valid while opting for outside help.
A wise way forward is to rely on a registered agency that is in the business of providing trained caregivers for the elderly. A home care agency comes with the benefits or added security and accountability and is often your best bet while hiring care for the seniors at home.
Before choosing a home health aide agency in Akron Ohio, ensure you study their credentials and records thoroughly. Consider factors such as how long have they been in business, how they train their staff and whether they monitor their caregivers from time to time. It is also worth seeking recommendations from peers, friends, and even online to find the best agencies around you.
4) Prepare for the interview and ask the right questions:
Entrusting your parents in the care of a third person is not an easy job. It is essential to personally assess the individual and understand whether he or she is right for the job.
After screening applications and contacting an agency, prepare for a one-on-one session with those who are shortlisted. Although agencies may sometimes push back or may not allow you to interview their caregivers, insisting on speaking to them individually can help.
While interrogating the candidate, make sure to ask the right questions and assess just how patient and loving he or she is. It may also help to personally observe interactions between the potential caregiver and the one who will be receiving the care before you reach a decision.
5) Ask for references and get a criminal background check:
Interviewing the caregiver and zeroing in on the right one is only half the job. It is also important to verify the information given by the candidate as true, and an easy way to do this is by asking for references. Speak to at least three of the caregiver’s past clients and analyze their feedback before making your choice. If hiring from an agency, make sure that they conduct a criminal background check on each of their caregivers and ask for personal verification of the documents.
While assessing the criminal record of the candidate, don’t forget to factor in non-criminal offenses (such as driving without insurance or driving under the influence of alcohol) before making your choice.
6) Monitor them personally:
After you have successfully hired the right home caregiver for your elderly parents, you continue to remain responsible in terms of monitoring the interactions between the two and gauging the effectiveness of the caregiver who you have hired.
Make a schedule to screen the services of the caregiver by including surprise visits and taking a direct account of the same from your parents. Constantly check for signs of abuse or neglect and immediately take steps to mediate them. It may also help to hire an independent geriatric care manager to monitor the caregiver in case you are unable to do it yourself.
Finding the right caregiver for ailing seniors isn’t the easiest task but nonetheless, an imminent one that must be fulfilled. Hire thoughtfully with diligence and always have a backup plan for when a problem arises, or when the caregiver decides to walk away. With a cautious approach and patience, the right care for your elderly parents can certainly be found. After all, they deserve nothing less!