If you’ve assumed most of the responsibilities of looking after an older relative who wants to age in place, there will likely come a time when you can’t realistically provide for all their needs. Conditions like dementia, Parkinson’s, and ALS can be challenging to manage on top of a full-time job and other commitments. Supporting a loved one with these illnesses can also take an emotional toll on you, leaving you fatigued and drained. Recognizing when you need outside help can be a significant step, but entrusting someone else with your family’s well-being isn’t a decision to make lightly. This guide will provide some advice to help you learn where to begin when finding a caregiver.
1. Determine How Much Help You Need
With progressive diseases, your loved one’s abilities and limitations will change over time. You may initially be comfortable with minor tasks like paying bills and washing dishes, but consider what you are willing and able to do in the future. Educate yourself about the stages of your loved one’s diagnosis by discussing them with their doctor. Then, make a detailed list of the tasks you need help with. The more specifics you identify, the easier it will be to find home care that meets all your family’s requirements.
2. Discuss the Decision With Your Loved One
Of course, you shouldn’t leave your loved one out of the conversation about their health and well-being. Ask your family member how they feel about having an experienced caregiver to help them with their daily activities. Older adults who treasure their independence deserve to have some control in the decision-making process. Reassure your loved one that bringing in outside help does not mean you are abandoning them, and that having an experienced caregiver can provide your family with more peace of mind.
3. Meet With Potential Providers
Before hiring an in-home caregiver, it’s wise to interview several different companies to get a sense of how their values and philosophy align with yours. There’s no such thing as a frivolous question when considering such a pivotal decision. Here are some suggested questions to start with.
- How do you communicate with families?
- Do you vet caregivers and check their backgrounds?
- How do you verify a caregiver’s credentials and references?
- What oversight do you provide?
- How do you promote health for older adults?
- Can you provide client testimonials?
- What happens if my family member does not mesh well with the caregiver you provide?
You’ll also want to ask questions about how much in-home caregiving costs, and what that price includes. However, remember that choosing a provider based solely on cost is not always a smart strategy. For instance, consider the quality of services offered and the disruption it could cause in your family if you decide to switch to a different in-home care company.
An LA Caregiver Can Meet All Your Loved One’s Needs
At Legacy Homecare LA, our mission is to help older adults age in place, with all the dignity and respect they deserve. We support your loved one’s desire to stay in a familiar, comfortable environment during their golden years. Our highly trained Care Companions offer a range of customizable at-home services designed to adapt to your family member’s changing needs.
With in-home health care, older adults can remain in the communities they love, manage progressive illness symptoms, and live more fulfilling lives. Whether your loved one wants simple companionship or requires more in-depth help with daily tasks, we are here to help. Contact us to learn more about what we can do for your family.