At some point in time, about 70% of all Americans aged 65 or older will need some kind of long-term help. This is never an easy thing to go through. It is often hard for the person who needs the care to admit that they need it. Even if they do not need to move to a nursing facility or memory care nursing home, it can be hard to admit that someone needs help around the home. That is one reason finding the right person or agency can be so challenging.
- Talk to the people you know. The best way to find good quality goods or services is to get a recommendation from someone you know and trust. Given the aging population of the United States and the number of people who need longer-term care, the chances are good that you know someone who has hired someone to take care of a family member. The best case scenario is that you will get the same recommendation from two people independently of each other.
- Talk to your family member’s doctor. The doctor who has been treating the person who needs help at home knows their specific needs. Different people have different needs. Not only do you need to really understand what kind of care is needed but their physician may even have suggestions of what agency you should hire.
- Look at your finances. We all want the best for the people we love but we also need to be able to afford the care we get for them. There may be programs that can help with the funding for the help you get for your loved one. Before you even start talking to different agencies or specialized caregivers, you need to know what you are going to be able to spend. When you talk to the person’s doctor, they may be able to offer advice on how to pay for this.
- Make up a schedule. Unless you are going to hire someone to move in with your family member, you are going to need to develop a schedule for them. You need to work out what days they will come and what hours they will stay. Unless you are hiring the person to be at your loved one’s home full-time, you may need to be a bit flexible with the person as your schedule has to fit with theirs.
- Make sure you can interview the person who will be working with your family member. Even when you go through an agency, you should be able to meet the person who will be taking care of your family member. You need to find someone who can get along well with your loved one, as they are going to spend a lot of time together and they may be helping with some very personal issues around the home. Finding a good match for your family member is one of the most important parts of hiring a home health aide.
- Look into geriatric care managers. That is a thing and it is pricey but they have experience working with insurance companies and in-home care agencies. They can help you with the process and may end up saving you money in the long run. These professionals are the most helpful if you are in a time crunch when it comes to finding the right person to take care of your family member.
- Listen to your gut. If you or your loved one has a really strong feeling about any of the people or agencies you talk to, you should listen to that. If you go ahead and hire someone who you have a bad feeling about, you can end up regretting it and if you let someone you like go, you might wonder later if you made a mistake. It is easy to ignore your gut feelings but that would be a real mistake.
Getting older may be a fact of life but that does not make it any easier or fun. It is a hard thing to admit that someone you love needs help but finding the right person is possible with some time and effort.