Choosing the right caregiver for an elderly family member is not a decision to be taken lightly.

You want to find someone with relevant qualifications and experience, but you also want a caregiver that is dependable and dedicated to making a positive difference in your loved one’s life.

This can be a daunting task, especially if you are the one doing all the vetting and interviewing. It is not advisable to hire a caregiver, that will be alone with your loved one, before doing the necessary research and background checks. It can be a very time consuming endeavor if you are doing it all yourself.

A professional home care agency, like Retire-At-Home, can save you a lot of time and stress.

They will have a variety of caregivers available, that have already been fully vetted. Background checks have been performed, and the caregivers have been selected based on experience, credentials, and passion for the role.

You can arrange a free consultation with a case manager that can help you determine what you are looking for in a caregiver, to make a suitable match.

Preparing for Home Care

There are several things you can do in advance to become more familiarized with home care practices and figure out your specific home care needs.

Some things you can do to prepare, might be:

  • Recognize home care needs
  • Take stock of resources
  • Ask questions
  • Figure out a schedule
  • What happens in an emergency?
  • How do caregivers deal with adversity?
  • Discuss with your loved one

Recognizing Home Care Needs

A good first step is to determine exactly what you hope to get out of your home care situation, and what kinds of tasks and activities your loved one needs help with.

Some areas of care that caregivers can assist with, are:

  • Housekeeping and home support
  • Personal hygiene and personal care
  • Companion care for additional social interaction
  • Medication management
  • Recovery from illness or injury
  • Assistance with cognitive decline or impairment

These are just a few examples of home care services available, and is by no means an exhaustive list.

Take Stock of Resources

You can make an assessment of all resources that can help out with home care. This includes family and friends that are willing to pitch in and assist with various tasks.

This will help provide a better picture of how much help will be needed from professional caregivers.

Ask Questions

Prepare a list of questions and concerns you might have about home care, before going into the initial consultation.

You may have questions about qualifications, experience, pet care, emergency situations, requests for additional care, special disabilities, or how caregivers handle difficult situations.

The more questions you ask, the more knowledge and information you have about home care.

Work out a Schedule

You may want to work out a very loose and flexible home care schedule in advance. This can help determine how often care will be required.

Are you looking for a caregiver to come in a couple times a weak to help out with light activities, or is more intensive and frequent care required?

What Happens in Case of Emergency?

This can be a very useful question for a home care agency. An experienced agency will have dealt with plenty of emergencies in the past, and will have an effective system in place for handling an unexpected crisis.

How do Caregivers Deal with Adversity?

This is another great question to ask to determine how effective a home care agency and its caregivers will be.

In many cases, seniors can be a bit skeptical or even resistant to home care services in the beginning. Many seniors don’t believe they need any help until a caregiver can prove their worth.

The whole situation of having a stranger come into to their home to assist with highly personal tasks and activities can be unnerving. An experienced caregiver will know how to break the ice and establish a rapport quickly and effectively.

Discuss with your Loved One

This can be a difficult but necessary step in the home care process.

In many cases, this discussion keeps getting put off, and put off, because it is not a comfortable conversation to have.

Unfortunately, the reality is that the longer you wait, the worse the situation can become.

Prepare in advance for how to broach the subject, and have some relevant points and arguments ready to support your ideas.