Finding the right caregiver for an aging loved one is not an easy task, especially if you’ve never had to navigate this world before. It’s difficult enough to watch your mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, or anyone you love age and become less independent. Most people would prefer to stay in their home if they are able to remain as independent as possible. Daily tasks may be more challenging but manageable with the right help. This is where home care comes in as a serious option for many seniors and disabled.
1) Assess your or your loved one’s home-care needs. Think through the following questions:
• Do you need home health care or medical home health care?
• If you need non-medical, what specifically are you looking for; personal care (help with bathing, dressing, toileting), meal preparation, or are you looking mainly for a companion?
• Do you need help with light housecleaning, shopping, transportation to and from doctor’s appointments, medication reminders and/or running errands?
2) Do your research. There are so many types of licensed agencies and independent options out there. There are pros and cons to going with an either so it is important to understand all of your options. Either way, whether you go with an agency or private caregiver, it is recommended that you call references. Both will be happy to give you past or current clients to hear about their experience first-hand.
• Licensed Agency: An agency can be a large franchise or a smaller organization but they hold the responsibility to ensure all caregivers are fully vetted. Before any caregiver is hired, For Papa’s Sake as a licensed agency runs comprehensive background checks, conducts drug and alcohol tests, reference checks, and is consistently checking in with the family and caregiver. In addition, you have peace of mind knowing you can contact the owners/managers at any time if you need to speak with someone.
• Independent/Placement Agencies: Often a little less expensive but typically not insured or bonded. If the caregiver is sick or has an emergency, it is on the family to find back-up. In addition, it is the family’s responsibility to run background checks to ensure the safety of yourself or loved one.
3) Develop priority of ideal characteristics and qualifications for your caregiver. There are so many amazing caregivers out there and each of them carry unique characteristics. We feel it’s important to match the caregiver on 2 main components: professional qualifications and personality. For Papa’s Sake takes great pride and thought into who and how we match each and every client. Our assessment process is our opportunity to really get to know the family and situation. We cover everything from personality, likes and dislikes, and special needs to ensure we find someone that will be a great fit.
4) Follow your heart. Interview several agencies and go with the one that makes you feel comfortable and safe. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Find an agency that will go above and beyond for you and your family. An agency should ultimately be an extension of your family so take the time you need to make a decision everyone in the family is comfortable with.