It can be so overwhelming deciding what kind of outside help to hire for your aging loved one. Who should you hire? How do you find them? Are they qualified? Can they be trusted to care for your parent? What questions should you ask? What is the cost? How do I find the best care possible for my parent?
Once you start your research, it is easy to get overwhelmed with all the information out there. Agencies that earn their money by recommending specific homecare agencies are available, BUT they only refer those agencies that pay them a fee. There are so many of these “placement agencies” ….. Home Instead, A Place for Mom, AgingCare, care.com…. the list goes on. Talk to your friends to see what they have used and get recommendations. Use social media to solicit suggestions. The agencies they recommend can vary from location to location. Local owners run agencies, so getting some local friends and family advice about local agencies they have had success with is invaluable.
At-home caregivers generally fall into three categories:
- Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs)
- Have some medical training and must pass an exam to get a license. They usually work under the supervision of registered nurses. In-home care nurses can check vital signs, care for wounds, and help with everyday activities such as bathing and eating.
(you’ll often hear these referred to as “activities of daily living,” or ADLs)
- Home Health Aides
- generally assist with ADLs. And personal care attendants (PCAs)
- Personal Care Attendants. (PCAs)
- also sometimes called personal companions, help with household chores such as cleaning, cooking, and shopping
The job descriptions of these caregivers can overlap considerably, and they’re often referred to interchangeably. You will need to decide whether to go with an established agency or hire a private homecare worker. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Of course, you will usually find licensed care workers with an agency, but you will also pay more money than private care, in general. However, with a private homecare worker, you often get more personalized attention.
Valuable Links for Finding the Best Outside Help
The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) is the best place to start looking for home care agencies. They are a government service that is not affiliated with one agency over another. This link will take you to eldercare.gov, an affiliate of n4a in which they recommend agencies that provide outside help. https://www.n4a.org/hcbs
When considering an agency, you may want to check this article and the corresponding links from the National Association for Home Care and Hospice. They list some great questions to ask when interviewing home care agencies and a database of agencies.
Whether hiring a private homecare provider OR an agency, here is a list of questions to consider. This article provided by the Mayo Clinic breaks down the questions, depending on whether you are going with private care or agency care. This is an excellent article to read in helping you to decide which course of care to take.
Finding the best home care for your loved one can be a daunting task, but it will make the job a bit easier if you are armed with the right information and questions. Remember to involve your home care aides in the use of the genusConnect™ App. Their use will provide you with the best up to date information on the care of the patient and provide you with tools to make your job easier. The homecare workers will love the feedback; you can leave them within the App. genusConnect™ provides you with a valuable communication tool to help you provide the best care together.