There are two different kinds of caregivers: family caregivers and paid caregivers. In most cases, families start out by caring for their loved ones on their own. It may start with little chores as your loved one’s health and abilities begin to decline. Or it may come all at once, in the case of illness, accident, or surgery.
But the longer you are involved in providing care for your loved one, the more you’ll start to discover you need a little bit of help along the way. That’s where paid caregivers come into the picture. That’s where in-home caregiving can help.
But it’s not as simple as finding someone online, inserting your credit card numbers, and having someone show up at your door. Imagine needing someone who can help lift your loved one, and they don’t have the physical strength to do it, for example. That can be frustrating at best.
Finding the right in-home caregiving service means understanding your expectations and relaying that to the service that will be providing a caregiver. Leave out a crucial detail, and you may find yourself with a caregiver that is more work than care.
Start by evaluating your needs.
You know you need an extra set of hands, but you aren’t sure for what. The best way to proceed is to take some time to evaluate the situation.
How much time would an in-home caregiver be with your loved one? Eight hours a day while you work? Overnight while you’re with your own family? A few hours a week to allow you time to do things for yourself?
Once you have your goals in mind, you can look closer at the requirements during that time period. An in-home caregiver that is there all day every day would need different skills than one who sits with your loved one a few hours a week.
Don’t just think about timing and tasks in a general manner. “Three afternoons a week” can involve many things, such as cooking meals, transferring and lifting your loved one to different rooms or locations, and even spending time outside of the home for doctor appointments or lunches out.
Will they need lifting skills?
Will they need training in proper sanitary methods for emptying waste and keeping clients clean and dry?
Will they need skills in dealing with Alzheimer’s or dementia?
Will they need skills in dealing with a client’s terminal illness or death?
Having a properly trained and informed in-home caregiver ensures the safety and security of everyone involved. It means a happier spouse, parent, or loved one and more peace of mind for you.