You or someone you know may be having trouble completing daily tasks that used to be simple and easy. You or a loved one may be suffering from some form of illness. As a senior, you may just be looking for some help with chores that are too time-consuming and requires way too much effort, especially if you just want to watch jeopardy. Hiring a caregiver can help with all those little things—cleaning the dishes, doing your laundry, grocery shopping or just washing and combing your hair.
Here’s a tip: treat the hiring and screening process like a regular job interview. Don’t just settle with the first home care agency that falls in your lap. Follow the guide below to ensure that you get the best caregiver that your money can buy.
Different Kinds of Caregivers
First, you want to know what kinds of caregivers there are so you can choose the one that meets your needs. There are five (5) groups of caregivers to consider: personal care assistants (PCAs), home health aides (HHAs), licensed nursing assistants (LNAs) or certified nursing assistants (CNAs), skilled care providers and registered nurses (RNs).
Personal Care Assistants: are not licensed caregivers. They provide companionship and assistance with daily activities. PCAs usually offer conversation and company for outdoor activities, help with domestic and personal chores—such as light housecleaning and bathing—and they run errands for their clients. They are the least expensive, but are not covered by insurance.
Home Health Aides: need to be trained and licensed based on the varying requirements. They offer the same service as PCAs, but also monitor the health of their clients by checking vital signs etc.
Licensed or Certified Nursing Assistants (LNAs/CNAs): have more medical duties. They observe and report changes in their patient, check vital signs, set up medical equipment, change dressings, clean catheters, monitor infections, perform range-of-motion exercises, offer walking assistance and give some treatments. LNAs and CNAs are directed and monitored by a registered nurse or nurse practitioner.
Skilled Care Providers: have to meet federal standards and are licensed by the state. These caregivers provide treatment that non-medical professionals cannot. They change IV fluids and administer shots. Many skilled care providers also offer physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy services.
Registered Nurses: have a diploma and have passed the NCLEX-RN exam that certifies them as RNs. They provide direct care that the aforementioned professionals cannot. RNs work more closely with doctors and perform more complicated procedures as needed.
To-Do List for Hiring a Caregiving Professional
As for choosing a caregiver or a home care agency, you want to be thorough. Use the following four (4) tips to help you decide what and who works best for you.
Evaluate your needs –you want to be clear about what you want and what you expect from a caregiver and a home care agency. What are your expectations and limitations? What level of assistance are you seeking? What kind of home care assistance did your physician recommend?
Work with a reputable agency—take time to assess the reputation of each agency that you’re considering. It’s the age of technology. Hop online and do your research or just call the office of potential agencies and ask questions. Ask about the experience of their workers. Find out about their training and certification. Don’t be afraid to ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS!
Discuss care plan strategy—now that you know what your needs are, you can talk about them and ensure that the agency and its caregiver(s) can fulfill those needs. Don’t forget to include the recommendations of your physician in this discussion.
Be clear and upfront—honesty should be the forefront of any health-related discussions. The only way an agency can competently provide the service you need is if you are frank about your needs.
These tips will be useful in the process of hiring a caregiver or a home care agency. The process can take some time, but it will save you plenty of heartache down the line.
Learn more about caregiving professionals from Dorson Home Care.