Finding a caregiver for an elderly loved one is often a complex decision that requires careful research. Whether a family chooses to go through a home care agency or find an independent in-home caregiver through a staffing service, a private registry or a personal referral, there are many important factors to consider that will impact the quality of the caregiver and the overall care experience. According to AARP, a great place to start is with your loved one’s doctor, who can provide a wealth of information regarding local home care options, as well as Medicare coverage for the type of care needed. Once you have determined the level of care required, it is important to interview potential caregivers to get a better sense of their personalities and experience. For example, if your loved one has memory loss or mobility issues, it is important to ask prospective caregivers what kind of experience they have with those specific conditions. This will help to ensure that they have the knowledge and training required to provide safe and effective care.
Another area of focus should be on establishing a contract and determining payment arrangements. Depending on your loved one’s needs, you will need to determine how long you would like them to work, what tasks you want them to perform and what hours they are available to work. Then, you will need to decide how much you are comfortable paying for the services and whether or not your loved one is eligible for home care subsidies through Medicare or Medicaid. This will help to narrow down the search for the right provider.
Once you have a list of agencies and/or individual caregivers, it is crucial to conduct thorough background checks and reference checks. AARP recommends asking for contact information for two to three references that you can call and speak with about the caregiver’s abilities, compassion, reliability and experience. It is also a good idea to check credentials, such as licenses, certifications and training.
A final area of focus is discussing the expectations that you have for your loved one’s caregiver. For example, if you would like the caregiver to drive your loved one’s car, it is important to make this clear. Also, be sure to discuss your expectations around pets (if applicable) and smoking. You will also need to decide how to handle expenses, such as mileage reimbursement and vacation time.
Lastly, be sure to take the time to communicate regularly with your caregiver, as this will allow you to address any concerns quickly and effectively. This will ensure that your loved one is receiving the highest quality of care possible. how to find a caregiver