Hiring Care Assistance At Home

by Audrey Miller on May 11, 2011

in Articles & Blogs by Audrey, Caregiving, Estate Planning, Family Conflict, Geriatric Care Management

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May 11, 2011; By: Audrey Miller
All About Estates

Further to my previous blogs on the financial and emotional cost of caregiving, there are still many questions to be addressed. What type of care is required? Differences between caregivers can vary from those of a registered nurse, a registered practical nurse, a personal support worker or a companion. Understanding your specific level of need and what the caregiver is trained to do and is legally able to do (ie such as administering medications) which may vary from Province to Province or may be defined within the caregiver’s Scope of Practice (for RN’s and RPN’s) as well as cost factors, need to be understood and considered.

What are the needs of the family of aging parents? These needs can usually broken down to three basic needs: In-home respite care during the day only; care away from the home during working hours which may include participation in an adult day program; or 24-hour full time care over a weekend or longer.

Hire a home health care agency or hire privately? Understanding the advantages of each option is vital. Several considerations inform the decision making process including ensuring references, experience and qualifications are in place; insurance coverage; illness coverage for the caregiver in the event they should get sick; billing format and practices; confidentiality; are the services tax deductible; and record-keeping, among others.

What information should your provide the caregiver? Facilitating a quick and effective transition into the caregiver responsibility can be made that much easier by providing personal information such as how the older person prefers to be addressed; food likes or dislikes; allergies; whether they prefer companionship at mealtime; activities they like or dislike; areas of required assistance; best and worst times of days and other like considerations.

How do you find a caregiver? If hiring through an agency, there are several home care agencies in most communities. They are listed in the phone book and seniors directories. If hiring privately, a referral from a friend or family is usually the preferred route. Note however that if someone’s previous experience has been looking after children, it is not the same as caring for an older adult.

Also consider joining a support group for caregivers which can provide an excellent forum for discussion and individual support to assist you in this journey.

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