Seeking home care services is an important journey that many older adults take when they need some extra help with their daily needs. Rather than moving into assisted living or a residential care home, hiring a caregiver allows seniors the ability to remain in the comfort of their own homes. Continue reading this article to know more about how to hire a caregiver.
Different than providing care for a loved one yourself, there are two different ways to go about hiring a professional caregiver. The first is hiring a private caregiver. This could be someone you know or it could be a response to an advertisement you’ve posted online, at the local grocery store, or anywhere else. Sometimes people hire private caregivers because the rate of pay is more competitive and people feel they are able to recognize the qualities of a good caregiver well enough on their own. While this option may have worked in the past, we don’t recommend it today.
The other way to hire a caregiver, and the much safer way, in my opinion, is to use a professional agency. What seniors and their families may not know is that an agency does many things behind the scenes to ensure that they are hiring the correct person for their customer’s home care. Not only is it an agency’s sole job to hire caregivers, but also if you go with a reputable agency, they’ve been doing it well for years. Agencies are experts in weeding out the people we would not want coming into our household. Even better than simply hiring an agency, is making sure they are accredited with an organization like the Arizona In-Home Care Association (AZNHA).
There are quite a few benefits to using a home care agency that is accredited. One benefit is the ability to pre-screen their employees by conducting extensive background checks and references from previous employers. Pre-screening caregivers will give you peace of mind when you put your loved one’s care in the hands of another.
Another negative aspect of using a private caregiver over an agency-supplied caregiver is the possibility of scheduling conflicts. It can become extremely stressful if a private caregiver is unable to show up on the job. Conflicts in schedules can occur for any reason: sickness, family emergencies, transportation troubles, etc. With no caregiver, you or your family may need to pick up the slack and that could get in the way of work, school, or any other routine you have. With an agency, they will be able to find a replacement caregiver to fill in the gap. Usually caregivers work in teams with rotating shifts anyway so your loved one will be comfortable with both people.
Beyond the security of knowing a caregiver will always be available, you will also be protected by state and federal policies regarding hiring, training, and employee supervision. Choosing a regulated and licensed home care agency is a surer way of avoiding elder abuse as well as financial manipulation. An agency will be able to supervise their employees on a more firm level. Agencies are required by law to provide constant management for their employees and the people they care for.
On a final note, agencies will be able to help you deal with insurance companies or Medicaid waivers along with setting up a pay plan that works for you. They will also help determine the exact needs of your loved one and decide what kind of care is most fitting. Agencies will be able to assist you in finding the perfect solution that will fit your family.
Max Gottlieb is the content manager for ALTCS and Senior Planning. Both organizations work in tandem to provide free assistance to the elderly and their families when it comes to finding care options, benefits, or senior housing.