Finding the Right Caregiver for Your Elderly Loved One

An Essential Guide

When you’re looking for the right in home caregiver for your elderly loved one, no detail should go overlooked in the process. Picking the right caregiver can be stressful. A professional caregiver can simplify your elderly loved one’s daily life and ensure his or her health remains a priority. When it comes to choosing a caregiver, you should conduct a thorough process and hire someone who is qualified and has good chemistry with your loved one. In this guide, you will find some key things that will assist you in finding the right caregiver.

What is a caregiver “Wishlist”?

It is helpful to know exactly what you’re looking for in a caregiver. Create a “wish list” that you can refer to as you explore the options and map out a list of wants and needs for your loved one’s care. Include access to reliable transportation or driver’s license, chores, experience with the illness that your loved one may suffer from, and even the ability to lift heavy objects. It is important to know the skills needed to take care of your loved one. Be specific, including skill sets such as dementia care, cooking, computer literate as well as personal care (bathing, dressing, and incontinence care), activities, med reminders, and companionship. Taking the time to really think about this is critical as it allows you to set your loved one up for success by providing the tools needed for an exceptional home care experience.

How do I know if the caregiver will meet my loved one’s needs?

Understanding your loved one’s current health limitations will make it easier to find the right caregiver. It is important to be clear and specific about the needs of your loved one to the applicant and monitor his or her reactions during the interview process. Go over the answers with your family and determine if the responses were satisfactory. Make sure the caregiver informs your family about what he or she is comfortable handling and what duties he or she cannot take on.

It is best to choose someone who can help your loved one maintain good mental, physical, and emotional health. If they have mobility issues, you should find a caregiver who can help him or her move around the home safely. If the caregiver is not able to lift heavy objects or move your loved one from room to room, you will need to search for a caregiver who can.

How do I figure out schedules and flexibility?

Once these needs are figured out, the next task is to figure out how many hours per week of care that you need. It is important to know what kind of schedule is needed. Remember the schedule you create and the services your loved one requires could change over time due to changes in your health. Therefore, the in-home caregiver you choose will need to be flexible and available for emergencies. Hiring a quality agency can help manage the caregiver’s schedule.

Does Long Term Care Insurance help pay for the caregiver?

Have a budget in mind. This should include any long-term care insurance that the client may have. Inquire ahead of time about the benefits and process to activate your particular policy. This is a good reference as to what is covered and what is considered an out-of-pocket expense.

What is the most effective interview process?

Getting recommendations is extremely helpful. Speak with doctors and friends to see who they would recommend for a reputable home health agency. Call and inquire about the services that are offered. Ask if you can conduct interviews. If not, you may want to move on to an agency that can accommodate you with interviews. Many agencies match caregivers to clients based on schedule and availability. This is why interviewing a potential candidate is a priority so that you can judge for yourself if the client and caregiver will have good chemistry and meet your loved one’s needs.

How do I know I’ve chosen a professional and trustworthy caregiver?

A qualified and licensed home health agency, like Platinum Select Nursing, will conduct thorough background checks of their independent contractors and provide references for your family as well as coordinate caregiver interviews for your convenience. It’s crucial to check these resources because the in-home caregiver will have access to your loved one’s financial information, insurance policies, and other personal materials in the house. You want to choose someone who is trustworthy. A reputable agency will be able to provide the results of a level 2 fingerprint background check and produce references. When hiring without an agency, be sure to interview each potential candidate, making sure the caregiver is a good fit for your loved one.

Take your parent or loved ones’ needs, opinions, and wishes into consideration throughout the process of searching for a qualified caregiver. Allow them to interview the potential caregivers and decide who makes him or her feel comfortable. If your parent objects to specific individuals, ask why and don’t ignore his or her concern. Keeping your loved one involved throughout the process could prevent your family from choosing the wrong caregiver and can make the transition easier for your parent.

Making that final decision…

After finding a caregiver for your elderly loved one who is qualified, experienced, and who has great references, you still have to make a decision. You don’t know how things will work on the day to day level. This is where you have to take a leap of faith. Go with what you feel is right, knowing that nothing is guaranteed. If it doesn’t feel right, start over. There are many wonderful caregivers out there that are professional, compassionate, and hardworking that want to help someone live their best possible life.

Working with a licensed home health agency, like Platinum Select Nursing, can assist you in every aspect of finding a caregiver that is right for your loved ones. Consistency and dedication are the qualities that we look for in our caregivers, as we know this is what our clients expect in home care. Furthermore, we vet our caregivers through our comprehensive screening process. Above all, we believe that exceptional private home care starts with reliable caregivers and exceptional service! You can download this guide here.