Caring for aging parents; it’s a situation many people fail to prepare for. Not everyone is fortunate enough to maintain mobility and mental capacity to care for themselves as they grow old. Children of aging parents must consider their options for caring for elderly parents who are incapable of performing day-to-day tasks on their own. Allowing them to live in their own home alone will only increase the risk of something happening, such as an accident, injury or even death.
This is a scary thought for most people, which is why many turn to hospice services. Those who don’t like the idea of putting their family members into an “old person’s home” can opt for in-home care instead. There are a number of benefits to electing this option.
For one, it allows your parents to stay in their own home where they are most comfortable. If they live close to other family members, they can even remain there to engage in familial activities. It’s not always easy finding a nursing home that’s within proximity to your residence, making it even harder to move an aging parent. This eliminates that issue.
However, opening up your parents’ home to a stranger isn’t always simple. You want to ensure that the caregiver you hire is someone who will always have your parent’s best interest at heart. Here are some tips to help you find a proper in-home care for your aging family member.
Why Use an In-Home Placement Agency
Finding a caregiver on your own means it’s up to you to do all of the screening and background checks to ensure the candidates are qualified for the job. Few people have the time and tools to do this efficiently. You can save yourself the time and energy, while seeing better results, by working with a placement agency.
Before using any agency, make sure to do your due diligence and research them – look up the agency on the Better Business Bureau and ask for references. If you know others that have elderly family members using these type of services, then ask them for recommendations.
When using an in-home placement agency, you will experience a much more comprehensive process. Agencies tend to screen all of their applicants thoroughly, provide ongoing training and take care of all the paperwork, such as legal matters, taxes and payroll.
Additionally, you will enjoy uninterrupted service since backup caregivers are always available. Agencies have many caregivers on staff that can fill in if your preferred caregiver isn’t able to show up or leaves the agency. This prevents a lapse in much-needed care that your loved one requires.
What to Look for in a Caregiver
There are a number of things you want to look at when you’re considering hiring an in-home caregiver, such as the following:
- References: Obtain contact information for other families the caregiver has provided services for to get their feedback.
- Background check: Anyone can claim to be the perfect professional, but a thorough background check could prove otherwise. Make sure the agency you work with offers this to you for peace of mind.
- Credentials and licensing: The caregiver you hire should most definitely have a proper training and be certified in First Aid and CPR. Check your state’s regulatory license requirements to determine what you should be looking for.
- Immigration status: You don’t want to end up in trouble for hiring a caregiver who isn’t a citizen or legally able to work in the U.S. Request documentations to prove their work status.
- Contracts: Go over all of the contracts that cover duties and responsibilities of the caregiver, transportation guidelines, compensation and benefits, notice and severance details and discretion and confidentiality agreements.
- Finances and taxes: If you’re using an agency, you won’t have to worry about doing any of this. However, if you hire someone on your own, then you will be responsible for accurately reporting all of this information to the IRS each year.
Other Factors to Consider
Using an agency offers more convenience, but it may also feel impersonal to some. You’re not the one completely in control and you don’t have access to details, like the caregivers’ salaries and all information about the caregiver.
You should also consider the cost since agencies normally charge a premium for the services they provide. This will limit how much control you have in terms of compensating the caregiver you do obtain for your loved one.
However, these pale in comparison to all the hard work and emotional energy it takes to find and screen candidates and manage the necessary paperwork.