Watching a loved one get older is not easy. As they age, their needs change and they may find taking care of daily activities harder than it should be.
Your loved one isn’t alone. In fact, more than 18 million seniors need help with daily tasks.
Hiring a home care agency is the best way to give your loved ones the care they need. However, finding the right agency isn’t always as simple as you’d think.
Here are a few tips to help you find the best caregiver for your elderly loved one.
1. Get Advice From People You Trust
The best way to find a great home care agency is to get referrals from people you already know and trust. Discuss your concerns with your loved one’s doctor and ask your friends and family if they know of anyone using agencies in the area.
If you don’t know anyone that’s spoken with agencies for home care in the past, don’t panic. Start looking for agencies in your area on the internet.
Once you have a few names, start researching the agencies in detail.
Check the reputation of each agency online. See what others are saying about them and read up on any complaints they have about their services.
If most of the reviews are positive, schedule a consultation. However, if most of the reviews mention similar concerns or issues, it may be best to keep looking.
2. Think About the Type of Care You Need
Before you can find a home care agency, you need to think about the type of care your loved one needs. Caregivers provide care that’s tailored to your loved one’s unique needs and personal situation.
However, not all agencies provide all levels of care.
Make sure you understand exactly what your loved one needs help with. For example, if your loved one has extreme mobility issues, they’ll need more hands-on care and attention than someone who just needs a little help around the house.
Create a list of the things you want your caregiver to do and look for agencies that can provide those services. Just remember to think about the future, too.
As your loved one gets older, their care needs will change. It’s best to find an agency that can keep up with those changes. This way, your loved one can continue to work with the same caregiver and won’t have to deal with the upset of a changing staff.
3. Set a Firm Budget
In-home care isn’t always the cheapest option and you need to think about how you’ll pay for the services your loved one needs. In many cases, insurance providers will help cover the cost of your home care agency. However, the amount they’ll cover will vary from provider to provider.
Speak with your insurance agent to learn about the details of your loved one’s policy.
If you’re planning to use your personal savings or your loved one’s retirement income to cover those services, figure out how much you can afford to spend each month. Remember to leave room for surprise expenses like health emergencies, home repairs, and anything else that could pop up.
You’ll need to stick to this budget as closely as possible. The last thing any family wants to deal with is going into debt just to provide their loved one with a home caregiver.
4. Interview Each Home Care Agency You’re Interested In
Once you have a budget in mind, schedule consultations with each home care agency you’re interested in working with. Use these consultations to find out about the types of services they offer in detail and to better understand their hiring and vetting process.
You’ll also want to make sure you’re working with an actual home care agency instead of a private caregiver. The choice of hiring a home care agency vs private caregiver largely comes down to the quality of care they provide. Generally, agencies have more resources at their disposal and are better able to match caregivers with their loved ones.
Pay attention to how they respond to your questions and concerns. If they seem responsive, they’ll likely be responsive throughout their time working with your loved one.
5. Consider the Questions They Asked You
Finding a home health aide isn’t just about interviewing the agency. They should be asking you questions, too. If they don’t they’re not doing a good job of making sure they understand your needs.
Think about the types of questions they asked. Did they ask about your loved ones and their needs? Did they do what they could to get to know you in the short amount of time you met?
If so, continue to keep their agency in the running. If not, keep looking. The last thing you want to do is hire agencies for home care that aren’t invested in getting to know your loved one.
6. Meet With Individual Caregivers
Whenever possible, try to schedule meetings with the caregiver your loved one would work with. This will give you both a chance to see if their personalities are a good fit or if you need to keep looking.
Remember, when finding home care for elderly loved ones, it’s always best to choose a caregiver they feel comfortable with. In many cases, these caregivers will become close friends and the more your loved one enjoys their company, the easier it will be for them to adjust to having help.
7. Follow up on References
Once you have a few agencies you’re confident in, ask them for references and follow up with them. This will give you an idea of what other families experienced while working with the agency.
If their previous clients are still happy with the quality of the care their loved ones received, you’ll be in good shape.
Hiring a Caregiver Is Difficult
Making the decision to hire a home care agency to provide care for your loved one is a difficult process. However, it can make your loved one’s life easier and more comfortable while also sparing you the stress of having to step in as a full-time caregiver on your own.
Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be able to find a caregiver you can trust.
Looking for more advice on caring for an aging loved one? Check out our latest posts.