July 16, 2021
If the home care is for you, wonderful. If it is for an aging parent or other loved one, always make sure to include them in the process wherever possible.
It might not be possible if this aging loved one is unresponsive, can’t communicate effectively, is not lucid due to Alzheimer’s, another type of dementia, or some other medical issue, and in those cases, you will have to make reasonable choices on their behalf.
When you are choosing home care as an option for an aging parent or other loved one, and they are able to participate in the process, let’s look at three steps you might want to consider as you go through this circumstance.
You have independent and agency focused home care providers you can choose from. If you decide to choose an independent caregiver, somebody you hire on your own, you will have to vet them yourself. That means you have to check their background, verify references, interview them, and maybe even offer some level of training.
You don’t have to do that with most home care agencies. Also, if you hire independently, you may not get the flexibility you want, if the senior doesn’t require around-the-clock or full-time care.
When you hire a home care agency, you get great flexibility of hours, experienced providers, and a company that will support their care providers in a way you simply won’t find through independent hires.
That means sit down and talk about home care as an option. If the senior does not want home care at this stage in his or her life, you can’t force it upon them. You may want to, you may feel you are absolutely right with regard to this important life change, but they still have independence and autonomy.
Some family members may feel it’s pertinent to take this matter to court and force the senior to rely on professional home care assistance, but that is a bad idea.
Very rarely will a court side with an adult child, for example, over a lucid, cogent parent who refuses help. Even if it is clear that they aging senior needs some level of assistance, it is still their decision.
When the aging senior is on board with this, make sure they are part of the process of hiring a home care aide. That may include sitting down with prospective caregivers to find one whose personality meshes best with the senior.
As we just mentioned in the second step of this blog, the senior should meet with prospective aides, especially if this is going to be long term care. This senior will ultimately build a relationship with this caregiver.
It’s important that he or she gets along with the caregiver from the beginning. They may not always pick the right one, but including them helps them feel empowered and that is a powerful way to help them stay focused on the benefits home care provides.