Some people like to maintain their independence even when they are one of the elderly seniors. However, one of your elderly relatives, like your mother or father may actually appreciate it if you can look into hiring an in-home caregiver for them. This article summarizes some of the benefits when you do this.
1. Reasons for Looking for In-Home Caregivers
Sometimes, being a caregiver for your elderly relative can be a very demanding job. You may want to look for an in-home caregiver for a family member when:
- You need to prioritize your own spouse and kids.
- Your work and/or school schedule is taking up most of your time.
- You have an illness that prevents you from serving as a caregiver.
- There is no one else in the family who can help care for elderly relatives.
- Your elderly relative is becoming increasingly difficult due to illness or old age.
- Your elderly relative has an illness that requires careful medical assistance.
- Your elderly relative seems to dread the prospect of living alone.
2. Reasons for Selecting an In-Home Caregiver
Some of the elderly like having a caregiver come by from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. only. However, there are advantages to having an in-home caregiver. For instance:
- Your elderly relative will have someone to talk to at any time.
- The in-home caregiver can provide first aid or medical assistance at any time.
- The in-home caregiver can call for a doctor and/or an ambulance when necessary.
- The in-home caregiver will be able to monitor your elderly relative for you, particularly if there are crucial symptoms showing the progression of an illness.
- The in-home caregiver can make sure your elderly relative is given medication and therapy at the correct time, day or night.
- If you have a serious illness, you can get medical assistance for your own symptoms.
- You can devote sufficient time for work and/or school.
- If necessary, your spouse and kids will get more of your attention.
3. Reasons for Selecting an In-Home Caregiver
- Ask Your Elderly Relative First – It is important to give your elderly relative some control or choice when selecting an in-home caregiver. Ask if your elderly relative would prefer to have a male or female caregiver to help them. Let your elderly relative be in the room when you are interviewing a candidate for the caregiver position. This way your elderly relatives can feel that they are valued.
- Choose Someone Who Comes from The Same Culture – Find an in-home caregiver who is of the same or similar cultural background as your family. This is very conducive to helping your elderly relative feel more comfortable with the caregiver.
- Do A Discreet Background Check – You definitely don’t want an in-home caregiver with a criminal background. It is important to do a background check on those who apply for the job. You can contact the police and ask them to screen the candidate. You should go through the resume of the candidate and call up the school where the candidate has studied caregiving as a profession. Contact each candidate’s character reference and ask about the candidate. Do not hire anyone that you have not screened thoroughly.
- Monitor the Activities of the In-Home Caregiver – If you do choose someone to fill the position, take time to hover in the house for at least the first week. You can give the caregiver a list of tasks to do in relation to her role. Show the caregiver how you do certain tasks so that it won’t discomfit your elderly relative when the caregiver does it. Print out a worksheet where the tasks can be checked as they are done; you can use this as a basis for determining if the caregiver is doing a good job or not.
- Give Your Cellphone Number to the Caregiver – You definitely want to make sure that you are just one phone call away if anything serious happens. You can let the caregiver post this phone number near the landline phone or have her add it to her own cellphone contacts list. Give clear instructions for the caregiver to follow in case of an emergency.
Everyone will grow old over time – that is reality. Chances are, you have at least one elderly relative to take care of right now. If you do and if you yourself cannot fill that role, it may be time to hire an in-home caregiver. If you can afford it, hiring an in-home caregiver will help and lighten the situation and make things easier. The good news is that there is at least one caregiver out there who can render good service to your elderly relative, particularly your relatives who find it challenging to take care of themselves.