Is a loved one having trouble with dressing, bathing or mobility on their own, or are they missing doctor’s appointments? These are red flags that it’s time to consider in-home care.
If in-home care is something you want to explore, you need to find a company you can trust. This certainly takes time and effort. However, it will be well worth it when you have access to experienced and compassionate caregivers who will treat your loved one like family. The caregiver(s) you choose will also meet your loved one’s practical needs, whether it’s with meal preparation, mobility, housekeeping or in a range of other ways.
The question is: where do you begin? Here’s how to start the process of finding an in-home caregiver:
Step 1: Identify Your Loved One’s In-Home Care Needs
Before you reach out to an in-home care company or individual caregiver, make sure you know what your loved one needs. Are they relatively independent and simply require some help with light housekeeping, meals and companionship? Or do they need more extensive care and support?
In addition, if they have health conditions, like dementia or diabetes, you’ll want a caregiver who has specific experience with these diseases. Some common activities caregivers assist with include:
- Bathing and showering
- Personal hygiene and grooming
- Toileting and incontinence
Step 2: Ask for Referrals for In-Home Care
Getting recommendations – from friends, family or your loved one’s doctor – is a great way to find in-home care you can trust. If someone you know has worked with a company or a caregiver who performed exceptionally well, you’ll know to put them on your list to consider. Likewise, if they had a negative experience, you can keep that in mind during your search.
You can also use the federal government’s free locator website, Eldercare Locator. Once you have a few options in mind, research them online so you can learn more about their services, experience and reputation.
Step 3: Consider an In-Home Care Company Rather Than an Individual
When looking for in-home care, you can work with a company who employs professional caregivers. You can also find a caregiver on your own through a staffing agency or online.
However, keep in mind, when you work with a company, they’ll perform rigorous screening and background checks. They’ll also make sure caregivers are carefully trained and have the right experience to meet your loved one’s needs. In addition, if your loved one’s condition changes over time, a company will serve as a trusted partner who can help modify and adjust care as needed. You won’t have to worry about finding additional or different caregivers with more specialized expertise.
Step 4: Ask About Caregiver Screening and Experience
Once you are ready to talk with in-home care companies, ask about their screening and hiring process. You’ll want to ensure they are performing a thorough background check, including checking driving records, criminal histories and references.
Most companies will have a team member schedule an in-home visit at your loved one’s home. During that time, you’ll be able to ask these and other questions, so you can determine if the caregiver can provide the kind of help you are seeking.
Some additional questions to ask during this process include:
- What level of training and experience do your caregivers have?
- How will you ensure a good match between my loved one and their caregiver?
- When are they available and what are my scheduling options?
- What is the price for your services?
If possible, make sure your loved one is part of this process. They’ll have their own questions to ask and will feel more comfortable in the long run when they’re involved in the selection of their caregiver.
Step 5: Have a Trial Period with Your In-Home Caregiver
Once you have one or more caregivers in place to provide in-home care, consider a trial period. This will help you evaluate whether they’re a good fit for your loved one. It will also allow time to ensure the services being provided are at the right level and frequency.
Make sure you’re checking in with your loved one regularly to ask how the situation is going and to see if they have any concerns. Once the trial period is over, you can adjust care as needed.
If you’re looking for in-home care for a loved one, contact your local FirstLight Home Care today. We can keep them safe, healthy and comfortable where they’re happiest… at home.