For many older adults, having an in home caregiver might just be their key to continued comfort and independence. In-home caregivers can give your elderly loved ones the much-needed home care assistance with activities of daily living (ADL) such as dressing, medication monitoring, grooming, meal preparation, and light housekeeping.
While most in-home caregivers are trained and certified, they often focus on helping seniors with daily living activities instead of giving complex healthcare-related tasks. Home care service for seniors is different from home health services where licensed professionals like nurses and therapists offer skilled, medical services.
Programs like Medicaid or Medicare cover home health services but won’t typically cover non-medical services. However, certain long-care insurance policies cover in home care services that are non-medical in nature. It is recommended that you review your policy to identify if your insurance covers in home care.
Hiring a Great In Home Caregiver: Crucial Steps to Keep in Mind
When hiring an in home caregiver, it is ideal to find someone who does a wonderful job of looking after them. However, hiring the right caregiver is easier said than done. This is especially true if you have not hired anyone before. To help you find the perfect in home caregiver for your elderly loved one, below are some things you need to keep in mind:
Step #01: Create a clear job description
Creating a clear job description is the first step to finding the right person to provide the best in home help for your elderly loved one. Think through your loved one’s needs, so you have an idea when it comes to the tasks you want them to do.
If you want to be more thorough, it will help if you’ll consider what a full week of caring for your loved one would entail. Creating a specific and clear job description can also help you determine how much flexibility is needed, how many hours of companion care is required, and how much you need to pay.
Step #02: Be fair and flexible if you are hiring independently
If you are hiring independently, you need to be flexible when it comes to paying, so you will have a higher chance of interviewing the best home help candidates. In your job posting, you can entice more candidates if you are flexible about the hourly rate depending on experience.
It is also ideal that you are willing to pay the going rate in your area. If you want to have an idea about the hourly rates in your area, you can check independent caregiver job postings in your area that are similar to yours. It will give you a good idea of the average rate.
Step #03: Have multiple interviews and a trial period
If you want to get to know your independent caregiver candidates a bit more, having three interviews is recommended.
First interview: a short screening interview through the phone to ensure they meet the necessary requirements.
Second interview: conduct an in-person interview with prospects who pass the first interview.
Third interview: an in-person interview where the top 2 candidates meet with your elderly loved one.
Step #04: Ask several questions during the interview
If you want to find home helpers that are trustworthy, responsible, and compassionate, asking a lot of questions during the interview can help. Don’t shy away from asking questions about their past experience or asking them what they would do in specific situations.
For instance, if your loved one has incontinence or dementia, ask what they would do if your loved one refused their attempts to replace their clothes or get cleaned up. Also, ask how they would handle it if your loved one refused to take their medications.
Step #05: Create an employment contract
A crucial part of hiring an in home caregiver is creating an employment contract. Fortunately, a contract does not have to be complicated. Primarily, its prime purpose is to clearly lay out all the details you have discussed.
Your employment should also include the following basics:
Detailed job description
Anything important you have agreed upon during the interview
The Amazing Benefits of Having of Hiring an In Home Caregiver
Undeniably, having an in home caregiver looking after your elderly loved one can take a massive weight off your shoulders. Below are some of the incomparable advantages of having an in home caregiver:
You will have plenty of time for yourself
Looking after an elderly loved one can take up a lot of time. If you have other responsibilities, it is highly likely you won’t have time to relax and unwind. If you are overworked, you can end up feeling overwhelmed and stressed.
Contrary to common misconception, ensuring you have ample time for relaxation is not selfish. It is important to remember that you won’t be able to handle life’s challenges and stresses effectively without proper self-care.
When you know someone else provides the home health care your elderly loved one needs, you will have enough time for self-care like taking a power nap or going to the gym.
You can spend more quality time with your kids
If you need to take care of an elderly loved one, it is likely that you won’t have much time to spend quality time with your children. Undoubtedly, this is where having an in home caregiver can come in handy.
When you have an in home caregiver looking after your loved one, you’ll be able to help your kids with their homework, cook for them, and tuck them in bed. On weekends, when you have sufficient time, you can spend time with your elderly loved ones.
You can improve your mood
The stress of looking after your elderly loved one can take a massive toll on your mood. In the long run, you can start feeling anxious, exhausted, depressed, and even angry. It is essential not to leave these feelings unattended because you might not be able to look after your loved one properly if you are not taking care of yourself first.
You can rest assured your loved one is taken care of accordingly
Caregiving is difficult, and looking after a loved one is just as challenging as looking after small children. If you are not a professional caregiver, you are likely unsure if you are looking after your loved one accordingly. Fortunately, most in-home caregivers often have extensive training and have prior experience taking care of seniors.
Hiring an in home caregiver can be tricky if you don’t know how to go about it. Hopefully, the essentials mentioned in this article can help get your search for the right in home caregiver off to a superb start.
About the Author:
Sarah Keller is the Content Marketing Strategist of A To Z Home Care, a team of professional home care providers based in Phoenix, Arizona that specializes in long-term care for your loved ones. She enjoys riding horses and camping with her friends and family in her spare time.