The elderly folks among us have given their best. And now, it’s time for us to make their golden years as comfortable as possible. While some people might be able to keep their elderly parents and grandparents at home with them, not everyone is trained or experienced enough to handle the illnesses and frailty of very old people.
Those who are getting on in years may face a plethora of disorders and illnesses that their caretakers have to contend with. Alzheimer’s is one of the most disturbing cases among them as this can lead a person to leave their safety zone and distrust their loved ones. For other serious issues such as weak bones or severe rheumatism, someone always has to be on hand in case of a fall or to help with any task. Senior care is a full-time job in many cases which isn’t always possible for the relatives.
Since most of us have to work or follow through on other commitments, it’s only logical to hire a good caregiver for your elderly. Making this decision might be heart-wrenching, especially if you’ve read those horrendous accounts of caretakers who are abusive, mean, negligent, and even downright cruel to their chargers. Even if the caregiver has no malicious intentions, he or she might not be able to take care of your patient as well as you’d like.
The situation can get quite complicated and confusing. So, below are some guidelines on how you can hire the right kind of senior caregiver for your elderly family or friends:
Know that you can change your mind
Even after making the decision to hire a specific caregiver, keep in mind that this isn’t the last word on the subject. If you feel like the caretaker isn’t doing a good enough job or that your patient needs someone with more experience due to their declining state, you have all the right to speak up.
You can also change your mind about opting for a nursing home instead of home care. While the latter is preferable for most loyal family members, there comes a time when it would be kinder to let an individual live in a place where everyone will care for them according to their needs. You need to make sure the home will be as sincere and concerned about your loved one as you are, or at least as close as possible to that.
If you fire or replace your current caregiver, it can be challenging to find a new one according to your requirements. However, there are plenty of caregivers out there looking to get a proper gig. Hire one of these. Know that you don’t have to lock down a decision that you may not be comfortable with in the future.
Know the needs of home care
It’s easy enough to say that a person needs a caregiver. But just what does this entail? Does the person in question need help with going to the washroom, or do they need a caretaker to go inside with them?
Some Alzheimer’s patients might benefit from tips to fun events or influence in certain activities. Almost every elderly patient would need to keep appointments and get medication.
If an elderly person is living alone, their caregiver might have to cook and clean on top of their other duties. Make sure you choose your caregiver according to the level of care needed. What’s even more important is making sure they’re willing and able to perform these duties.
Be realistic, financially
We want our parents or grandparents to have the very best caregivers around, just like they’ve always wanted the best for us. However, most of us won’t be able to afford a whole team of specialized caregivers in any case. This is why it’s best to sit down with the family and draft a budget with the caregiver’s salary in mind.
This practice is for before you set out looking for a good caregiver. That way, you’ll have a realistic expectation and idea of what you can afford. It’s stressful having a frail elderly person in the house. Therefore, there’s no need to add to that by dipping deep into your savings.
Have a family meeting
There are several people who might contribute to the decision of hiring a proper caregiver for your elderly. If you have siblings or first cousins who can and should help out, reach out to them and ask for their input. When you make sure that they’re consulted, these people are also more likely to contribute to the daily costs of a caregiver. For instance, one person could volunteer to prepare some food every week so that the caregiver doesn’t have to be paid for cooking.
Put together a job description
When you apply for any job in a regular way, you wouldn’t want the interviewer to have any idea about the vacant position. If this seems to be the unfortunate case, most interviewees might not remain interested in the job itself. When it comes to hiring the best possible caregiver for your elderly, then, the stakes should be even higher. To this end, prepare your job description so that you can be assured of hiring someone qualified.
Social groups, neighbors, activity centers, online platforms, and social clubs are all places where you can ask around about a likely caregiver. You may stumble across many people in your social circle who have hired caregivers for their loved ones. If nothing else, post this query as your status on Facebook or some other social media account. Take it a step further and join some online platforms that might be relevant.
You may also find a lot of anecdotal reviews for certain caregivers online. These are all very well but make sure they’re reliable and verifiable before taking them seriously.
Background checks and credentials
You might be using some sort of caregiver agency while hiring. If so, it should be easy to ask for background checks of each potential hire. You can see their paperwork, ask about their medical records, and several other kinds of information. The state you’re in will decide just what rights you have here.
The same goes for credentials. You can ask a care service or senior care agency whether they have any options that are certified nurses or not. It all depends upon the kind of care you require for your loved ones, so don’t be afraid or hesitant to ask.
Some life decisions aren’t that important. But trust us when we say that choosing a decent caregiver is quite a weighty choice. This decision might have consequences that alter your life and might mean the difference between a lifetime of regret or a sense of peace and contentment.
With the right caregiver in place, the elderly ones in your family will be able to enjoy their lives more as well. They might be able to get out of their home more often and even take part in activities that they like. In any case, a true caregiver will be like a sincere friend that can put your mind at ease. Remember, senior care and care services have several different options. Weigh the pros and cons carefully before making a final decision.