Caregiving is an amazing responsibility, and finding the right person to take over the role can be challenging. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help you.
A caregiver is a person who provides in-home assistance to an elderly or disabled loved one. Caregivers can be family members, friends or professional caregivers. Depending on the level of care needed, the caregiving duties can include everything from bathing and grooming to assisting with medication, meals and daily activities. Caregiving can also be emotionally draining, so it’s important for the caregiver to have their own support system.
Caregivers are often found through word of mouth, private registries and staffing services, but you can also find them in the classified ads of local newspapers or online. A word of mouth referral is often the best way to find a caregiver, because you can trust that your friend or relative didn’t pay them to recommend someone. But keep in mind that a referral may not tell the whole story about a caregiver’s skills and abilities, so it’s always best to interview and screen candidates thoroughly.
Another option is to work with a home care agency, which can provide you with a list of local caregivers. Agencies can be a little more expensive than working with a private caregiver, but they offer built-in backup care so that you have a replacement in case of a sick day or vacation. They can also help you create a job description for your loved one and find someone with the experience and qualifications that you require.
If you’re hiring a live-in caregiver, make sure that your home owner’s insurance policy includes workers compensation coverage, so that the insurance company will cover medical bills in the event of an accident. It’s also a good idea to write a clear job description that includes your aging parent’s likes and dislikes, as well as the tasks that they require the caregiver to do. If your aging parent requires transportation to appointments, events or family visits, make sure that you outline their needs in your job description as well.
The cost of a caregiver can be paid for in a number of ways, including long term care insurance policies, traditional health insurance or by the patient themselves. However, some families choose to hire an independent caregiver and then reimburse the individual for their expenses, which can be less expensive than working with a home care agency.