Mary is in her mid-forties, with teenage children. She works a full-time job, and her commute is thirty minutes both ways. Between her children and her job, Mary ends most weekdays in utter exhaustion.
Mary’s mother is in her early eighties and lives alone. She has experienced several alarming health episodes in the past year alone. Mary has begun visiting multiple times a week, often after a full day of work, to help tidy up, prepare meals and make sure the home is in working order. Just last week, Mary’s mother fell getting into the shower and broke her wrist, requiring a surgery and a hospital stay. Mary took off work to care for her mother in the aftermath of the incident, but after a week of full-time caregiving, it was clear that her mom needed more help than Mary could provide.
Mary knows her mother would much rather be at home than in an assisted living facility, and she is willing to work with an in-home caregiver to ensure that her mom is taken care of.
Unfortunately, Mary has heard horror stories of bad caregivers, and is worried that she will hire someone who is unethical or unqualified to care for her mom.
Does this scenario sound like you or someone you know?
Watching a parent or loved one suffer declining health and mobility is heartbreaking. It can leave you feeling helpless, wanting to provide the support they need but unsure how to find an option that works for everyone.
When it comes time to make decisions regarding an aging parent’s care, you deserve to know that the option you’ve chosen will be best thing for them in the long run.
Choosing an In-Home Care Provider You Can Trust
One of the biggest fears that we have when searching for in-home care is that the agency or person we choose will fail us. We fear that they will be impatient, unethical, or cruel to our aging loved one, who relies on them for care, and often, survival. And there are plenty of testimonials and horror stories out there to confirm our fears.
When it comes to our families, we want (and deserve) the absolute best care out there.
Unfortunately, finding a caregiver that you can trust can be lengthy process. It often involves calling and interviewing multiple people, asking tough questions, and hitting dead ends.
Many companies don't have rigid screening processes for choosing caregivers; others don’t have ongoing examinations or training in place, to ensure that your caregiver is continually improving his or her knowledge and abilities.
So how do you find a caregiver and agency you can trust, for the long term?
Identify Your Loved One’s Particular Care Needs
Because many homecare companies don’t hire caregivers with specialized training or knowledge, you’ll need to know your loved one’s conditions and care requirements before you begin your search.
Consider the following questions:
- Does your loved one have a health condition or disease that might require special knowledge and training on behalf of the caregiver?
- Does your loved one suffer from cognitive impairments or diseases like Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia?
- Does your loved one rely on a very particular daily routine?
- Does your loved one have a rigid medication schedule and regular doctor’s appointments that would require transportation support?
It’s important to talk to your loved one before seeking out care options. You can realistically discuss what he or she needs in their day-to-day routine, and how a qualified caregiver might relieve their burdens and struggles.
Ask the Right Questions
When contacting a potential caregiving agency or company, you need to know the correct questions to ask.
These questions will reveal a company’s policies on hiring, educating, or replacing caregivers, communicating with clients and their families, and their community reputation.
It’s important to do research on a company’s background as well:
- Ask how many years of caregiving experience the company’s average caregiver has
- Ask about continuing caregiver education
- Ask about the variety of services the company offers. Are their caregivers able to provide specialized care to dementia patients or those with diabetes?
- Are their caregivers available 24/7? Are they able to offer overnight or round-the-clock care if you need it?
Experience, educated and knowledgeable caregivers, and flexible service are some of the most important things to look for in your in-home care provider.
Look for Customer Care That Goes Above and Beyond
When you’re entrusting a parent or loved one to another person’s care, you deserve to know what’s going on each day.
Many companies offer very little insight into their caregiver’s activities and patient’s progress throughout their time.
Many times, you won’t be aware when your loved one has experienced a medical emergency or had an issue in their daily routine.
Bluebird Homecare offers a 24/7 online portal where our clients’ families can check up on them, review their progress and read any notes left by the caregiver. You can also settle any outstanding bills or invoices.
Bluebird’s Family Room is the easiest way to stay involved in your loved one’s caregiving schedule, even when you can’t be physically present.
If you need in-home care for an aging loved one, choose a company that works to employ the best possible caregivers in the industry.
Bluebird Homecare has over 28 years of homecare experience; our standards for our caregivers are extremely high and very exclusive.