Over the past 20 years, home health care has emerged as an affordable, effective option to help people age in place in the comfort of home surrounded by friends and family.
Studies clearly show people are happier and live longer when they are able to continue living independently in their own home as opposed to moving into an assisted living or skilled nursing facility.
Hiring a professional caregiver to provide daily assistance can boost not only the client’s spirits, but also benefit the family’s health by alleviating unnecessary stress and pressure.
So where do you begin your search for a professional caregiver? Below are a few tips to help guide you on your quest for a quality caregiver with whom you can feel comfortable and confident:
Agencies vs. contractors: Caregivers hired through home care agencies, such as Caring Hearts, tend to be more expensive than contractors or “freelance” caregivers, but it’s important to understand that the agencies’ fees include insurance and taxes that you would otherwise be responsible for as the caregiver’s “employer.”
Caring Hearts caregivers have been thoroughly screened and insured, and many receive specialized training and ongoing education. We also handle all scheduling, payment and back-up caregivers, providing peace of mind that you or your loved one will always be covered.
Online directories, including Care.com and Caring.com can also be a great place to start your search for in-home care.
Qualities to look for in caregiver: The best in-home caregivers are the ones who view their work as their life’s passion, not just another job. Look for caregivers who are compassionate, dependable and go above and beyond.
Caring Hearts prides itself on hiring the best of the best – caregivers who become and extension of the family. Caring Hearts owners Janet and Bill Dean of Chillicothe, Ohio, credit much of their success to their compassionate caregivers, including Deedra Risley, who was recently honored as the Caring Hearts 2012 Caregiver of the Year.
Set expectations BEFORE care begins: It can be helpful to hold a meeting in the client’s home with the client, the caregiver and the entire support group to ensure everyone has a clear understanding of the arrangement.
Revisit the care plan frequently: At Caring Hearts, each client/caregiver relationship is managed by a home care professional that makes ongoing recommendations as the client’s care needs changes. This serves to ensure the client is receiving the best care possible based on their unique needs.
The best client/caregiver relationships tend to be those that maintain open lines of communication between everyone involved.