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 home-care 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 recommendations. The agencies they recommend can vary from location to location. Agencies are run by local owners, so getting some advice from local friends and family 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, assist 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 home-care worker. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Of course with an agency you will usually find licensed care workers, 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 when 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 which is a 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 out 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 as well as a database of agencies.
Whether hiring a private home-care provider OR an agency, here is a list of questions to consider as well. 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 a good 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 if you are armed with the proper information and questions, it will make the job a bit easier. 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 as well as provide you with tools to make your job easier. The home-care 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.