When should we consider in-home care for my loved one? How do we find the right help and where do we start?
First, if your loved one is struggling to perform basic activities of daily living it’s probably time to get help. Part-time help to start might be the best way to go in the beginning.
Basic ADLs consist of self-care tasks that include, but are not limited to:
- Bathing & showering
- Personal hygiene & grooming (including brushing/combing/styling hair)
- Toilet hygiene (getting to the toilet, cleaning oneself, and getting back up)
- Functional mobility, often referred to as “transferring,” as measured by the ability to walk, get in and out of bed, and get into and out of a chair; the broader definition (moving from one place to another while performing activities) is useful for people with different physical abilities who are still able to get around independently.
- Self-feeding (not including cooking or chewing and swallowing)
Asking why the owner is in the caregiving business is a great place to start. You can train people on caregiving but you can’t teach them how to care. The next place to look at is third party review sites.
Specific Questions to Consider
What specific services do you offer? Some agencies do personal care as well as companion care but you may need nursing services. Caregivers can’t administer medications. Knowing exactly what you need in terms of help will help guide you to the right company.
Additionally, other questions to ask could be; ” What is the minimum number of hours of care provided? Is there a daily minimum? What are the rates, are they different at night or on weekends?” It’s helpful to know that the shorter number of hours makes it difficult to get a high-quality caregiver. Finding other chores they can do might be useful for you to have completed.
When you’re working with an agency it’s their responsibility to;
- cover a shift if a caregiver is sick
- provide insurance coverage for the caregiver
- replace a caregiver if they aren’t a good fit
- Conducting background checks, etc.
Even though you’re doing your best having in-home care allows you to maintain your relationship. As much as you want to be able to do as much as possible, getting help is likely to become necessary.
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