Fear of losing their independence is the primary concern of older adults. Take Mrs. Weeks, who fell and lay on the ground for three hours before being found by the gardener. She was given an ultimatum by her family, either go to a nursing home or hire an in-home caregiver. That was four years ago. Today, Mrs. Weeks is 93 years old and enjoying the caregiver who has enabled her to retain her independence and enjoy her life at home.
When simple tasks become difficult, hiring a caregiver is a wise choice.
So when is it time to hire a caregiver?
- Difficulty with walking, balance, standing and sitting or transferring from one place to another and history of falls
- Spoiled food in the refrigerator, unclean or cluttered home environment, bills unpaid.
- Difficulty driving or recent car accidents
- Changes in physical appearance or hygiene.
- Forgetful/confused with medications or prescription refills.
- Confusion, memory loss, difficulty concentrating and changes in personality (which all may be sign of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease).
Benefits of an Agency (vs. Individual)
When choosing a caregiver, you want to find someone who is loving, caring, responsible and dependable. With many employees on-call, a care giving agency can arrange for the assistance needed to help your loved ones to continue to live safely at home, from 1 – 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. An agency will also run extensive background checks, including fingerprinting, DMV records, TB testing, and accuracy of paperwork and current certifications, to ensure all caregivers are thoroughly screened. These are good reasons to consider a care giving agency.
Additionally, the caregiver is standardly covered under the agency’s umbrella insurance policy with a license, bond and liability coverage. This gives clients recourse if an incident or theft should occur. Agency’s may employ certified caregivers, Certified Nursing Assistants, Licensed Vocational Nurses, and other trained professionals. All caregivers you are considering should be at least certified in CPR and first aid training.
Another advantage to an agency is the ability to immediately cover a shift when a caregiver becomes sick or needs time off. Most agencies also have an emergency after hours phone number, providing you with much needed peace of mind.
Whether you are a family member or friend seeking assistance for another, you need to ask very specific questions to the potential caregiver or agency. Be sure that they provide the items mentioned above. Also be sure to approach the conversation with your loved one with sensitivity. Remember their biggest fear is losing independence and needing to leave home. Listen to them and share your concerns in order for them to become participants in finding solutions.
For a complimentary consultation, contact Elder Caring at 760.333.0427