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7 Tips For Finding In-Home Care For Elderly Loved Ones

7 Tips for Finding In-Home Care for Elderly Loved Ones

When the time comes to begin finding in-home care for elderly family members or friends, there is much to be considered, and the process can become overwhelming without a clear plan.

There are many incredible in-home caregivers, but even the best ones are not ideal matches for every elderly person who needs assistance. It’s crucial that you know what qualities to look for in a caregiver so that you can match the needs of your loved one with the skills of the professional.

How to Find In-Home Care for Elderly Family and Friends

Different professionals bring different skills, personality traits, and credentials to the table, so you must do your due diligence and take the time to thoroughly examine all candidates.

The task can seem much less overwhelming if you break down the job of finding care for your loved one into steps. 

By following these seven tips for finding in-home care for elderly loved ones, you’ll be able to secure their ability to age in place as comfortably and independently as possible.

  1. Know the Duties of an In-Home Caregiver
  2. Decide What Level of Care Your Loved One Needs
  3. Know What Qualities, Credentials, and Traits to Look For
  4. Know the Right Questions to Ask
  5. Don’t Hesitate to Ask Outright About Costs
  6. Make Sure You Interview Everyone, and Include Your Loved One
  7. Ask Trusted Friends & Family for Recommendations

Know the Duties of an In-Home Caregiver

A caregiver’s specific duties might include the following:

  • Helping with mobility
  • Providing transportation
  • Providing companionship
  • Assisting with basic needs
  • Helping with dressing or bathing
  • Monitoring medications

In addition, these professionals might also assist with personal grooming, meal prep and cooking, and housekeeping duties.

Decide What Level of Care Your Loved One Needs

Speak to your loved one about what they have difficulty doing in their day-to-day life. Do they simply need someone to help with housework or drive them to the grocery store? Or do they need assistance with bathing or struggle with incontinence issues? 

Not all caregivers have been trained to provide all types of assistance. No matter what level of care your loved one needs, make sure the caregiver is qualified to provide it.

Know What Qualities, Credentials, and Traits to Look For

The duties a caregiver performs must match the needs of your loved one, but the professional must also have excellent personal qualities, professional credentials, and personality traits that will match those of the person they will care for. 

The top ten traits and qualities to look for include:

  • Patience
  • Good communication
  • Trustworthiness
  • Attentiveness 
  • Flexibility
  • Compassion and empathy
  • Physical ability
  • Self-awareness
  • Dependability
  • Professionalism

The caregiver should be able to maintain their composure as well as confidentiality. Communication is always crucial, and sometimes, a sense of humor is a valuable gift, too!

Know the Right Questions to Ask Caregivers

One of the best ways to get to know potential caregivers is to directly ask them questions; however, they need to be the right questions. Make sure to ask things like:

  • What services do you provide?
  • What training and experience do you have?
  • What made you choose caregiving as a profession?
  • How do you deal with stressful situations?
  • What are your hobbies outside of work?
  • What are your specializations?
  • What kind of communication can I expect from you and vice versa?

There are no wrong questions to ask when it comes to finding in-home care for elderly loved ones. If you want to know something about a professional, ask! The safety and well-being of your loved one are too important not to ask every question that’s on your mind. 

Don’t Hesitate to Ask Outright About Costs

One of the many major considerations when hiring a caregiver is the cost. Make sure you are 100% clear on what you or your loved one will be responsible for paying out of pocket prior to finalizing hiring decisions. 

Many things will affect the cost of a caregiver, from your location to the level of care your loved one needs to how many hours a day or week they will need help.

Make Sure You Interview Everyone, and Include Your Loved One

Conduct interviews with all candidates with your loved one present, if possible. It’s critical that your loved one feels at ease with the person who will be helping them with such personal matters. When possible, make sure that your loved one gets plenty of say-so in who is hired for this important commitment.

Ask Trusted Friends & Family for Recommendations

No factor is quite as strong as referrals and recommendations from people you trust most. Ask friends and family for contact information on caregivers they have found to be amazing. 

Get as many details as you can, but remember that everyone has unique needs, and while a caregiver who was perfect for your neighbor may be a fantastic person, they might not be able to suit your loved one’s needs.

The Single Most Important Tip for Finding In-Home Care for Elderly Loved Ones: Trust Your Gut Instincts

There are many additional things to remember as you search for a caregiver. However, there is one single tip that you must always follow: Trust your instincts.

If something seems a little bit off about one of the professionals you interview, listen to that feeling. Suppose that everything — their credentials, references, and capabilities — seems in line, but you just can’t shake a feeling in your gut that tells you to pass. In that case, trust your gut and move on to another caregiver. 

Your loved one depends on you to make the best choice for them. With such a potentially emotional task, when all kinds of feelings can get in the way, your gut instincts will never let you down.

If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation.  Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.

Some of the services offered by Family Matter In-Home Care include: Alzheimer’s & Dementia CareBed & Wheelchair Transfer AssistanceCompanionshipHousekeeping & Meal PreparationPersonal CareRecovery Care, and Transportation.

Serving the San Francisco Bay Area and Greater San Diego, Family Matter In-Home Care has offices throughout California including: Campbell, CARoseville, CASan Marcos, CA, and San Mateo, CA.

Carol Pardue-Spears

Carol has worked in the healthcare field for more than forty years. As a Certified Nursing Assistant, she worked for El Camino Hospital in the cardiac unit, Los Gatos Community Hospital, The Women’s Cancer Center in Los Gatos and several home health and hospice agencies. Carol founded Family Matters in 2002 to fill a deficit she witnessed in high-quality, in-home services and care.

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