In Home Care for Elderly Parents - Tips for Hiring In Home Healthcare

In Home Care for Elderly Parents - Tips for Hiring In Home Health Care

There comes a time when you realize you can't do it all alone. Unfortunately, many of us don't even know where to start looking for help, or what questions to ask once we find it. When it comes to assessing in home care needs for elderly parents, or even assisted-living or long-term or nursing home care, knowing what to ask is one of the best ways to determine whether a particular service or facility is the right one for your elderly parent.

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Assessing In Home Care Needs

Start by asking yourself some questions. How much care does Mom or Dad really need that I'm unable to help with all the time?

Here are some places to start.

Does Mom or Dad need help with:

  • Household Care
  • Personal Care
  • Medical Care

Household care is that which includes such in home care as cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, shopping and in some cases, yard work.

Personal care is defined as dressing, eating, bathing and toileting-type needs. In many cases, adult caregivers are just not capable (physically or emotionally) to address such issues of in home care on a daily basis.

In Home Care of a Medical nature involves getting your parent to doctor's appointments, managing medication schedules and dealing with physical therapy issues, administering medications, applying medication to wounds, among others.

In Home Care Nursing - Getting Extra Help

Whether you decide to hire help from a local in home care agency or the nice woman down the block, caregivers need to ask basic questions that will help determine the suitability of individuals to care for elderly parents. While it's not always possible to cover every base when it comes to hiring help, performing background checks, engaging in interviews and assessing work histories are some of the best methods to finding reliable, honest, hard-working individuals who will help you provide the best care possible for your elderly parent.

Once you've assessed the type of help your elderly parent needs, you should be able to create a rough job description that will help identify responsibilities or needs that are required to be addressed by the individual you eventually hire.

Some initial issues to address are what type of elderly home care help you want. Is the individual you hire a professional caregiver? Is he or she licensed? Do you just need someone to help drive your elderly parents to his or her doctor's appointments, and if so, does that person hold a current valid driver's license?

So, basic questions to ask an elderly home care caregiver should include but are not limited to:

  • Are you certified?
  • Are you professionally trained?
  • Are you a legal resident of the country, or do you have legal work authorization?
  • Can you verify that you are disease-free?
  • What is your experience in this kind of work?
  • Have you cared for any individual whose needs are similar to those of my elderly parents?
  • Is there any aspect of my Mom or Dad's care that you are uncomfortable with, or refuse to do?
  • What are your work hours? Do you take weekends off? Holidays?
  • Upon hiring, are you willing to sign a contract?
  • Can you provide verifiable references?
in home care for elderly

If you are seeking help through home care agencies, questions you will want to ask include:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Is everyone on your staff certified?
  • Do you offer Introduction to Set-Up Services – that is, do you offer various services that are needed or must I pay for all-inclusive services that I don't need right now?
  • Do you offer various levels of expertise or experience - such as CNAs (Certified Nurse's Aides), LVNs (Licensed Vocational Nurses) or RNs (Registered Nurses)?
  • Do I need to take care of your supply needs or is that included in your care plans and pricing structures?

About Contracts

When hiring home care services for your elderly parents, don't fore go the necessity of a contract. This will protect you, your parent and the caregiver. A contract is a legal affirmation of formal services and should include:

Your name and the individual or home care agency's name

  • Wages
  • Hours of work per week
  • The employee Social Security Number
  • Detailed outline of duties to be performed
  • Behavior guidelines (what is permitted, what is not; i.e., smoking, language, promptness, etc.)
  • Termination clause
  • Signatures of all parties involved

Making Decisions

Products to Assist with Aging

When it comes to making a final decision, take the time to fully investigate the care agencies or caregiver that you have selected. Don't cut corners. This is a very important decision and one that requires to be approached like any business negotiation. Protect yourself. Protect your parent. Take the time to research, interview and choose the best care provider you can.

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