About ten years ago, I attended my grandmother’s funeral, and while that was a sad event, the one thing that stood out the most from that time was how much my mother talked about the number of caregivers they went through before my grandmother passed. I’ve tried not to think about that too much, but the reality is that both of my parents are getting on in years. Both my brother & I will need to think about finding a home caregiver for all senior needs in the next few years.
Truth be told, I don’t really want to think about, but therein lies the big problem – no one talks about it. Everyone keeps putting off these big discussions until later, but later comes and no dice. Eventually, ‘later’ won’t be an option, and hard decisions will need to be made. The last thing anyone wants is to have tension when an older family member is ill. If there is one thing that has seen a rise in numbers, it is that more families are discussing end-of-life planning, but there is still a rather big void in the number of people talking about how they want their care to go in advanced age.
If you and your family are at the start of your own discussions on senior care for a loved one, here are a few ways to help you find the right home caregiver:
Put Together A List of Needs for Care Specific to Your Loved One – As with most things in life, what one person needs may not be on the radar for someone else. Figure out what ‘home senior care’ will mean for your family. This list will be the cornerstone of the hiring process.
Ask Friends, Co-Workers, and Others for Input – Others around you have probably gone through the same thing you’re embarking upon. Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations and reviews from those around you. For example, if you have teachers in the family, have them ask their school nurse for any insight.
Reach Out to the Community for Advice – Churches, community halls, and senior centers are places where you can reach out to for some help. Each works with individuals of all ages and may have a few numbers you can contact.
Make the Interview Process All-Inclusive – If your senior loved one is capable of doing so, then let them be a part of the caregiver interview process. Prepare a list of questions ahead of time, and be sure to have as many family members present. Not only does it help keep everyone in the loop, but it ensures that any questions you may have missed might be brought up by someone else. Finally, having more than one person there means that multiple people can verify the information discussed should it be addressed later.
The process of finding a home caregiver for all seniors needs is not easy. It requires a time commitment and a willingness to put in a lot of effort in picking the right person or service that fits your senior loved one’s needs. The key is to make sure everyone in the family, especially the seniors in your life, gets involved and feels as though they are being heard.