Are you a caregiver in need of additional assistance in caring for aging or elderly relatives? You may find you’re at the stage of needing to hire an in-home health aide and this could be a decision as fraught with fears as it was when you hired someone to care for your children. If you have an aging parent that is unable to care for him or herself you need to carefully weigh the options of allowing them to age in place or making a move to an assisted living type facility.
If you opt for an in-home health aide, here are some items to consider:
- Know what kind of assistance your aging relatives or you, as the caregiver, need assistance with. Do you need someone to take on the task of light housework or cooking meals? Do you need an individual with medical training to help with medicine maintenance tasks? Do your parents need assistance with personal grooming and bathing? If you simply need someone to help with cooking and cleaning it may be more cost effective to hire a housekeeping service. If, however, your parents need help with personal hygiene and medical issues you need to hire someone trained and skilled in those tasks.
- How will the service be paid for? You need to determine if there is enough cash to pay for the care you’re hiring or whether there is an insurance plan or Medicare that may help cover the costs. The overall financial stability of your loved ones and their financial status may be a determining factor in where and how you can have these services covered. Medicare may not pay for in-home services. You may need to speak with an elder care representative in your area and see what services might be available, Meals-on-Wheels is an ideal option for many seniors as it provides a hot meal at lunch and a cold meal for dinnertime at a reduced cost.
- Don’t make the decision in haste. If you notice that your parents are not keeping up with housework or personal hygiene or if you worry that they aren’t eating well it’s time to sit down with them and discuss the situation. Work with them to make certain the house is senior-friendly if they’re determined to age in place. This could mean installing grab bars in the bathroom, straightening the house to remove all trip and fall hazards and investing in a home medical alert device and personal medical devices.
Understanding the level of care your parents need versus the level of care you can provide as a caregiver, will help you narrow down the type of in-home assistance you’re looking for. Additionally, you will want to screen all applicants prior to hiring them to make certain they are well-suited to your family and their care.
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