Want to know: What is in-home care for seniors?

One of the greatest challenges of aging is maintaining independence for as long as possible without putting yourself at risk. It may be that you want to be able to carry your own laundry baskets or clean your own gutters, but the risk of a fall grow greater as we age and an injury or accident can mean that aging in place is impossible after such an event.

In this article, we will go over when to seek help from a care provider and how to hire an in-home caregiver.


When To Seek Help From A Personal Care Provider

While the phrase home health aide might make you think of someone who only comes in to help you bathe and dress, personal care providers offer a much wider variety of care. For example, you might bring in someone to help once or twice a week with simple chores such as cooking a few extra meals or doing some light housework.

This person might be most useful being available while you work with them on these tasks. For example, your personal caregiver might clean behind you while you tidy up. This way, you gain the benefit of exercise but have help nearby should you stumble or feel wobbly.


Act Early

Hiring a licensed caregiver for a few hours a week is a great way to avoid having to bring in a live in nurse. One of the critical factors to remember in nurse home hiring is that most caregiving agencies offer a wide variety of assistance.

For example, as noted above, you may need help with simple chores or you might need someone to give you a lift to the grocery store and help you with loading your cart. By seeking healthcare for hire early, you can build relationships with your helpers and get comfortable with seeking assistance.

No matter how long you’ve been preparing to go it alone or just with your spouse, it’s critical to plan ahead for the need for extra help. After an injury, fall or accident, your choices for being in control of that decision are severely limited.


Independence Doesn’t Mean Isolation

By hiring a local personal care worker, you will have help that knows the area. Once the chores are done and the groceries have been purchased, you may simply want to see the sights, visit a park or stop by a museum. Your home help nurse is there to help you with both the tasks of daily living and with the things that give you joy.

A wanted caregiver is a person you can build a relationship with. This person may work with several elderly patients or may only be looking for part-time employment. Your independent caregiver will be someone with whom you can build a friendship. If they are fully employed in providing patient care assistance to you and other clients, they will have a working knowledge of local entities that offer assistance and programs for seniors.


Independent or Agency Contractor?

There are many agencies that provide both skilled healthcare workers and non-medical care companions. When considering how to choose a helper, be aware that working with an agency can save you many responsibilities. For example, if you’re hiring a non-medical helper, the nurse helper salary is paid by the agency, so you don’t have to worry about payroll requirements during tax time.

In addition, there are caregiver certification requirements and background checks that need to be maintained to provide you with the best quality home health aide. Agencies are required to provide this training and track these certifications.


Building Relationships

Even if you have family and friends close by that can help, personal care providers can help you maintain your independence. Your children and friends may be willing to come to your house to clean and cook, but this will limit the time you can spend with them and may make you feel like a burden.

Rather than having to ask for this assistance, a nurse home hiring agency can help you locate a licensed caregiver who can stop by one or two days a week to help you handle the tasks that are just too much. Your time with friends and family can be about connection and communication, not laundry and vacuuming.


Establish Your Needs Before Your Caregiver Arrives

Since you don’t need a live in nurse just yet, make sure that your time with your personal caregiver is as efficient as possible. If you want that person to clean, make sure things are as picked up as possible and that supplies and tools are in place.

If you’re looking for help in cooking, find some make ahead recipes or crock pot meals that you will enjoy and either pick up those groceries or have a list ready to go. Your personal care worker is happy to help with whatever you need done, but it will likely take some planning on your part to be ready for their visit to your home.


What If It Isn’t Working?

You may well find that you and your caregiver just don’t connect. If this happens, you have many different options. For example, you can contact caregiving agencies to see if you can interview another caregiver.

Be aware that bringing in a caregiver or any form of healthcare for hire will likely make you uncomfortable at first. If possible, you may want to have a friend or family member available for their first few visits so conversation is easier. As you become more comfortable with your caregiver, you will find it easier to be alone with them.


Building A Friendship

A visit from a wanted caregiver can be a bright spot in your week. You may find yourself planning your time with your caregiver with joy. Remember that many caregiver certification requirements include transportation, so consider an outing!

Whether you work with an independent caregiver or a contracting agency, you should be able to count on getting the same caregiver each week, excluding illness or injury.


Saying Thanks

Your nurse helper salary doesn’t need you to enhance their compensation. However, everyone likes to be appreciated. Once you get to know your patient care assistance professional, you will likely find ways to say thank you that won’t cost money. For example, if your caregiver is a busy parent, you might have time to review newspapers and magazines for coupons that they need, or you might spot a sale on TV or radio that they miss. You can put your time to work for your home help nurse!


Final Thoughts

Aging isn’t easy, but if you, your spouse and your family are willing to plan ahead, you can make aging in place a simpler and safer process. If you find that basic household chores are getting to be too much, bring in help before you suffer an injury or a fall. If vision problems or a loss of dexterity are making cooking a challenge, bring in assistance before you risk a burn. Be proactive about help and you can stay at home longer.