Choosing caregivers for your elderly or disabled loved ones is an important decision. There are many factors to consider such as the level of care needed, cost of the services and whether or not insurance will help pay for them. Having reliable caregivers can provide family members with time to run errands, go to the doctor for themselves and catch up on rest and sleep. In addition, in-home caregivers can help reduce feelings of loneliness for loved ones who live alone or who do not have family nearby to visit them on a regular basis.
One of the most common ways to find a caregiver near me is through a home health agency, private home care agencies or nurse registries and staffing services. Agencies and registries typically employ their own caregivers and can offer more stability than independent contractors. However, the hiring process can be lengthy and time-consuming. You will need to interview, screen and sift through candidates, which can take weeks or months.
Other ways to find a caregiver include asking friends and family who have used home health aides or working with a senior care referral program offered through senior centers, churches or other community groups. A home care agency may also have financial advisors who can provide guidance on payment options for in-home caregiver services, including long term care insurance policies and government-funded programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
When hiring a private caregiver, it is important to carefully review the person’s credentials and licensing and ask for references. You should also determine what type of specialized care you or your loved one requires (e.g., incontinence, dementia or renal urological disease) to ensure the person is appropriately trained and skilled for the specific needs. It is also important to establish what you expect the aide to do and the hours you would like them to work.
Caregivers are people, too, and should be treated with respect and kindness. Make sure they have a quiet space where they can work, and schedule their shifts so that they have some time to relax on their own. Lastly, remember that a caregiver is a full-time job and should be paid a fair salary.
The best way to find a caregiver near me is by networking and asking for recommendations. Then, be prepared to negotiate and discuss details such as salary, benefits, home privileges, meal access and more. It is also important to discuss the person’s dietary restrictions and medical needs before hiring someone.
AARP is working to make the homes of older Americans age-friendly, and we need your story! By sharing your experience as a family caregiver, you can help us build a movement for better support and services for families. Visit our I Heart Caregivers site to share your story and join the community of family caregivers fighting for change.