September 21, 2018
When your loved one needs personal care at home, you want to make sure you hire someone who truly cares about them and who you can fully trust. Before you choose a home health aide or caregiver, follow these tips to guarantee that your loved one will be comfortable and happy with their personal care arrangements.
Take the time to sit down with your loved one and discuss what they need on a day-to-day basis and what responsibilities you need the caregiver to take on. For some who are looking for elderly care, they are simply looking for someone to keep them company during the day and maybe help with small tasks. Others have more serious disabilities and need home health care to assist them regularly with daily activities. If you need the caregiver to take on tasks like laundry or preparing dinner, make sure you include that. When you talk openly and honestly with the person receiving the care, there won't be any unvoiced expectations or surprises when it comes time for their personal care to begin. This will also create a clear job description for potential caregivers.
Whether you use an agency to hire a caregiver or find one independently, you need to ask them every single question you have, no matter how small. If possible, have your loved one there too so that they can ask them everything they need to before you make a hiring decision. This will also give them an opportunity to make sure they are compatible on a personal level. Questions that you should ask include their past experience, how they would handle specific situations, and any certifications they have. You should also ask them about their references and follow up with their references after the interview.
When you pay someone to provide in-home, personal care services for your loved one, you want to make sure that they are doing everything you asked. If you're working with an agency, talk to the agency staff about how they monitor the caregiver's services. In case of any emergencies that occur when you're not there, have a clearly laid out plan of action. For example, over 50% of falls among older adults take place at home. If your loved one falls and needs to be taken to the emergency room, you need to have a standard procedure that the caregiver follows and a clear way to contact you.
Once you've found the right caregiver, sign an employment contract that includes all of these details. This way, everyone will be held accountable for their responsibilities and your loved one will receive the excellent personal care they deserve.