How To Choose a Caregiver

How To Choose a Caregiver

How To Choose a Caregiver

  • When you’re looking for the right caregiver for your aging loved ones, no detail should go overlooked in the process. Picking the right one shouldn’t be stressful, though. Have no fear! Here’s how you can make sure that the right caregiver for your dearest family members are chosen to ensure happiness and quality care.

Before you Meet the Caregiver

  • The more that you know about what your parents or aging loved ones need, the better the position you will be in when it comes to choosing the right in-home caregiver. While you can hire a 24-hour personalized nurse as your caregiver, you can also hire a caregiver to help with minimal daily tasks around the house, meal preparation, medication reminders and the like.

Know What You Need

  • Does your loved one need personal care or medical assistance? Licensed home health aid provides personal care, but not medical care. This includes basic in-home needs such as bathing, cooking, errands, and dressing. If you are in need of home healthcare, seek out a licensed professional who has, at least, five years of experience and meets all of your state’s licensing laws. That being said, it’s important to vet the agency and make sure that the staff has received adequate training and has a clean and positive record.

Think about your wants

  • Map out a list of things you would like to have for your loved one’s care. No details are too small when creating this list. Include access to reliable transportation or driver’s license, chores, experience with the illness your loved one suffers from, and even the ability to lift heavy objects. Once the duties and tasks are figured out, the next task is to figure out how many hours per week of care that you need.

Consider Your Funds

  • Home health care is expensive, but not entirely unaffordable. If you are a beneficiary and your loved one has Medicare, this will help provide funds for you to get home health care if eligibility permits. However, Medicare won’t provide funds for any personal care. That being said, it’s likely you’ll have to use assets or cash or to fund health care.

After you Meet the Caregiver

  • Once the interview is complete, have a discussion with your family member about the applicants. Their comfort level with a caregiver is the most important factor to them continuing a happy and a more independent lifestyle with the help of a hired hand. At Family Tree, our caregivers are put through a 10-step approval process before we match them with a family. Learn more about our in-home caregivers.

Make a list and weigh the pros and cons

  • You went through the interview process and asked all the important questions. Make a list of what each agency answered. See where they differ. For example, did one offer 24/7 service or nursing oversight and the other didn’t? Creating a list will really lay it out for you to see what is most important to you, what you can live with, and what you can’t live without.

Call the references

The agencies should have provided you with a list of references – that match the type of care your loved one will be receiving. If they didn’t, call them and have them send you over some. Ask them about their in-home professionals. 

  • Are they good and attentive? 
  • Has there ever been an incident?
  • If so, how was it handled and managed? 
  • How hands-on do they feel the agency is? 
  • Are they responsive?

Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call! It is important to hear their experiences – good or bad. 

Think back to the in-home visit.

You made sure that the agency didn’t contract out workers. The agencies should do background checks on every caregiver. 
When they came for an in-home visit, how did it feel? 
Did the agency and the In-home caregivers seem compassionate, warm and caring? Was there anything that might have felt off about it? 
Did you get a bad feeling? Making sure that you and your loved one feel comfortable is important. These in-home professionals are going to be around a lot and caring for them. You need to be 100% sure that they are the best of the best. If anything feels off, take them off your list.

Ask your loved one for their opinion
Their opinion is just as important as yours. While you want what is best for them, they can weigh in on which agency seems best. They are going to be the ones receiving the care. It is important that they like and feel safe around their in-home professionals.

Five Mistakes to Avoid When Searching for In-Home Care

  • Not Vetting the Caregiver or Agency – Asking for credentials and prior experience is one of the most important things you need to do prior to entrusting a family member’s care to them.
  • Focusing Solely on One Factor – If you focus solely on one thing like finances, you’re likely to miss out on some truly beneficial in-home care services.
  • Not Keeping People in the Loop – If you’ve been taking care of your parents, and you have siblings who are too busy to help, it may fall on you to hire a professional caregiver. Consider asking your siblings to sit in on the interview process, which may help avoid issues later.
  • Not Staying Involved – Above all else, it’s important to periodically ask your parent or other family member how they like their caregiver and if they’re satisfied with the care they’re receiving. Most in-home care providers are presumably honest, but keep in mind that even if you hire a fully vetted agent who passed background checks, you’re letting a stranger into your parent’s home.
  • Putting it Off – One in three seniors pass away from Alzheimer’s or a similar form of dementia, which means that as soon as an issue becomes apparent, you need to start the search for a caregiver. Putting it off will only cause stress for you and the people you love, so the sooner you get started on the process, the better.

Finding the right senior care won’t happen overnight. Even if you have found the right caregiver, finding a backup agency is always a good idea.

Start with Family Tree Cares

Don’t leave the safety, comfort, and happiness of your loved ones to chance. Choosing the right caregiver can seem daunting, but with the right guidance and understanding of your needs, it becomes a much simpler task. For over a decade, Family Tree Cares has built a reputation for delivering excellent private care.
Don’t wait until you’re in the midst of a crisis. Plan ahead, and start the search for the perfect caregiver now.

Contact us today to learn more about our process. We’re here to answer all your questions and make sure your loved ones receive the care they deserve.