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How to Hire the Best Senior Caregiver

 
Coming to the realization that your elderly loved one needs assistance in their home is a difficult but crucial comprehension.  As disheartening as the experience may be, remember that the alternative – being too late – is far worse. You never want to find yourself or your senior loved one in a situation where a horrible incident occurs, only because the truth was too hard for you to bear.  As friends and family members, we have a responsibility to make tough decisions on behalf of those we love to ensure their safety and quality of life.

Know Your Options

Do your due diligence before setting interviews or entering into the nitty gritty details of hiring a professional seniors’ caregiver.  Research senior home care companies in your area and get a feel for the types of services that are available.  Look into independent caregivers as well as those who work under the umbrella of a larger organization.  Decide whether or not your elderly loved one would be in better hands with the personal approach of an individual or the power and support of a full company.

Consider the Budget

Senior home care can be expensive.  Be mindful of your budget and work towards a solution that is both affordable and helpful.  Maybe your senior loved one doesn’t need 24-hour care, but the service of a caregiver who helps with activities of daily living 3 to 4 times a week.  Or perhaps you and your siblings can assist some of the time to lower your costs.

Decide What Services Are Most Important

Different companies have different areas of expertise, which may be more or less in favor of what your senior loved one needs.  If your elderly loved one has Alzheimer’s Disease, perhaps it makes sense to search for caregivers who specialize in this type of care.  Or maybe your senior loved one has just undergone a serious operation that requires very particular support and care.  Make sure that the caregivers you are considering are able to provide the necessary level of service.

Negotiate

Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.  The caregivers you are considering may be willing to offer a little flexibility when it comes to services or price.  You’ll never know unless you ask.

Interview Potential Candidates

Meet your potential caregivers face to face.  If you’re dealing with a large organization be sure that you have an opportunity to meet with the caregiver they propose before any contracts are solidified.  You never know when the chemistry might be off or your senior loved one simply doesn’t respond well to the service. 

Arrange a Trial Period

It is often difficult for seniors to accept the fact that help is needed.  Hiring a caregiver means that they must a give up a certain level of their independence, which is hard to do no matter what the age or circumstance.  To accommodate this new transition, be sure to arrange a trial period with the caregiver.  You want to be sure that before contracts are drawn up, that both you and your senior loved one are comfortable with the arrangement.  This also leaves the door open to adjustments that may need to be made to the timing of visits and the types of services offered.
Just like anything else, finding the perfect resource can be time consuming and challenging.  If you’re ready to do it on your own, be patient and thorough.  Or, consider hiring a geriatric care manager or eldercare consultant to help you through the process.
 
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