Updated: May 28
Everyone wants to be as present as possible for their loved ones, especially as they age or as their health declines. Unfortunately, the demands of life can pull caregivers in too many different directions, forcing them to examine new care options for their loved ones. The search for a caregiver is important, but it can be overwhelming for those who don’t know where to start.
Here is a simple guide with some tips to help families get started in their caregiver search:
Assess Your Needs
Now that families have decided they need help, the next step is figuring out exactly what that assistance looks like. For some, having someone at home to help with daily tasks like laundry, bathing and mealtimes is ideal, while others just want someone to check in every so often. Depending on their own schedules, some families are able to handle the great majority of care and simply want someone to keep an eye on their loved ones for a short block of time, whereas others require more consistent or “hands-on” care. Whatever their needs are, families should get honest about their top priorities and concerns, as well as their own capabilities before moving forward in their caregiver search.
Do Your research
Putting a loved one’s care into the hands of someone else can be nerve-wracking, but today families can choose how involved they want to be in the caregiver selection process. Tools like care.com allow families to customize their caregiver experience. By visiting the site, families can set their own criteria for a caregiver (i.e. years of experience, certifications, etc.) and how soon they need help. Doing a thorough search can give families peace of mind that their loved ones are in good hands. On the other hand, if families are too overwhelmed to complete the caregiver search on their own, an agency can conveniently pair them with a caregiver based on their specific needs.
Check In With Your Loved One
Despite being the reason for this process, families can get so caught up in the stress or details of their caregiver search that they forget to check in with their sick or aging loved one. Though the need for care may not necessarily be negotiable, the person in need of care will be spending a considerable amount of their time with their new caregiver, so their opinion should be considered. Whether they’re able to help pick out their own caregiver or are allowed to weigh in on the details (like the time or day of the week), it’s important to make sure they are as included in the caregiver selection process as possible.
These are just a few simple tips to help families to consider during their caregiver search!