Hiring a caregiver for your loved one can be stressful in many cases. It can be a big transition for them and you as well. Your loved one might not like to admit that they need help, or they might even fear to go to a nursing home.
There are many benefits to choosing an in-home caregiver rather than a facility. Knowing that this is a difficult decision to make, we have listed some tips below to help you make the right decision for your family.
How to Hire a Caregiver for Your Loved One
Level of Care
You need to consider the level of care services that your loved one will need. There are different types of caregivers for you to typically choose from. These include home health aides, registered nurses, personal care aides, licensed nursing assistants, and skilled nursing providers.
Each type has specific boundaries within their scope of practice. If they have a license or certification, there are some types of care that they may not be allowed to provide, depending on where you live.
Home health aides are the best option for light care levels. They help monitor health and vital signs and perform light duty acts around the home. Some can also help cook, clean, bathe, and more.
Registered nurses have a wider scope of practice, they can help with wound care, other medical care, and give medications as well. Choosing a registered nurse is a good idea if your loved one is very ill. The nurse can work directly with the doctors to help create a care plan and communicate any changes and progress.
Personal care aides do not have to have any certifications, they are more like a companion. They offer the company and can help with simple day to day tasks. When it comes to daily tasks, they can usually help with bathing, getting ready for the day or bed, and assist nurses with simple tasks.
Licensed nursing assistants hold a license and work under a nurse usually. They help monitor a patient’s health and report changes or concerns to the nurse. With their training, they can help with wound dressings, catheter care, everything that a personal care aide does, and more.
Skilled nursing providers hold a high degree in nursing and can complete many tasks. They can assist with tube feedings, IVs, and more. Some are even trained to perform physical therapy and speech therapy. With their experience and knowledge, they can also help to educate the family and other caregivers on care measures.
When looking for a caregiver, you can choose to go through an agency. Be careful though, you’d want to choose an agency that has a good reputation.
Here are some things to consider when choosing an agency:
You should ask them if they perform background checks on their caregivers and if they provide training as well. You want to be able to trust the person that will be taking care of your loved one and feel confident in the care they will provide.
Hiring independently could be a little more cost effective, but might not be as safe. It’s not easy to safely hire someone unless you know them personally. Chances are, you won’t have the resources to perform a thorough background check as an agency can.
If you choose an agency, you should be as involved as possible in the hiring process. Ask to meet potential hires – it is better to meet them in person rather than reading a resume. Don’t be afraid to ask about their background and references as well, after all, you are putting your loved one’s life in their hands.
Involve your loved one in the hiring process as well. They will be the one spending most of their day with the caregiver, so you want to ensure they have a good feeling about who you hire. If they don’t feel comfortable or dislike the person, they may be reluctant to receiving care.
Create a Care Plan
You will want to create a thorough care plan for your loved one with the caregiver and agency. They will most likely know a little more than you do about the care process. They can weigh in about what types of care your loved one will need.
You can help them decide when and what needs to be done. You can also assist them in letting them know what your loved one can do independently, or with minimal supervision. You may need to reassess the care plan every 6 months to a year, as many people will change conditions.
Deciding how and when the caregiver will be paid before hiring can help in the long run. You won’t want to have a miscommunication complication arise, and be left without a caregiver for your loved one. Many people will be flexible about payments, while some like a more structured pay schedule.
Always have a plan b, just in case of an emergency. If your caregiver becomes ill or has an emergency, your loved one will still need care. If you go through an agency, you can ask them if they send a replacement caregiver during the time that yours can’t work.
If the agency doesn’t have a policy for this, you may want to ask family or friends if they can help with the simple tasks until you are able to help.
Hiring a caregiver for your loved one doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Once you decide the level of care you need, it becomes simpler. Choose someone that you and your family feel comfortable with and can perform the tasks that you need.