One of the most difficult things for family members is finding good in-home care for a loved one. Besides coping with the emotions usually associated with watching the physical/mental decline of a parent, grandparent, brother, sister or other loved one, now you find yourself in the position of needing to make a decision on who will provide hands on support and care. You’re making a decision on a person (a stranger!) who will be very intimately involved with your loved one and other family members in a way you have probably never experienced.
May I be blunt? How do you decide who should see and handle private body parts and functions of your mom or dad? And, why did you end up being the one to have to make this decision? So many questions – it’s a lot to take in, draining almost, but Helping Hearts is here to help. We consider it our duty, so, with that said, how do you go about deciding on in-home care? Let’s look at some of the concerns or issues most family members struggle with when trying to decide who should care for a loved one.
First, you have faced the issue of not being able (for whatever reason) to do the hands on care needed by your loved one. It doesn’t leave you feeling very comfortable. You might wonder if you have failed your loved one by not being able to do it yourself. No, you haven’t failed. It is what it is. Plenty of other families have already walked this road. In fact, please view your decision to find good care as a success! Before your loved one declines any further, you have stepped up and decided to find good quality care so you can rest assured your loved one will have what they need.
Second, determine what your primary concerns are:
- Having someone who is trained and qualified
- Finding someone who you can trust
- Knowing that the care provider truly understands your loved one’s needs
- Finding consistent care without always having a ‘new face’ come through the door
- Being able to afford the in-home care
- Having worker’s compensation and liability coverage to protect both you, your loved one and the care giver
- How long has the agency been providing in-home care
- How many care givers does the agency have
- Can the caregivers provide the care your loved one needs?
- Do you want to work with a locally owned company?
- Do you want to work with a for profit or nonprofit firm?
- What issues are most important to you?
On a sheet of paper, prioritize the issues most important to you. Then, develop these priorities into a set of questions you need to ask as you make calls to various companies or agencies. When you make your calls, record the answers on an ‘answer sheet’.
Third, once you have got the answers to your questions, who do you need to include in the final interviews (hopefully, in person interviews at this point!) and decision making? Do you need to include your loved one who needs the care, other siblings, a spouse, grandchildren? Another way to ask this is: who are the other ‘stakeholders’ in this matter who believe they need to be at the table and be a part of the final decision made? More family arguments and disagreements occur when someone who thought they should be involved are not invited to be a part of the decision making. So, figure out who the final group of decision makers needs to be (and, hopefully, you’re not having to make this decision all alone).
Looking for an in-home caregiver usually happens once a physician or other medical or social services professional has indicated that your loved one needs support and care each day or week. So, the assumption here is that you not only have determined the issues most important to you but you have also have the input from doctor, nurse, or social worker on what they see as being the hands on care needs of your loved one.
Now, you have interviewed at least two agencies or firms (maybe more), you have input from your loved one’s medical and social professional care givers, you have determined what your issues or concerns are (and prioritized them), you have invited others to be part of the ‘decision making team’…whew! What next?
Well, believe it or not, you’re probably ready to make a decision on who’ll provide hands on care for your loved one. It seems like a huge step with huge consequences…and it is, but always remember that if you need to make a midcourse correction, you can! Once you begin with one care giver who you thought was a good match, but turns out not to be such a great match…ask for someone else! Need to adjust hours? Do it! Need a care giver with more experience in a particular area (dementia, stroke, etc)…ask!
Finding a ‘hands on’ care giver for your loved one is one of the most difficult decisions any family member has to make. There is no right way/wrong way of making this decision, but here at Helping Hearts Foundation, we want you to know that you have a team of professionals who have more than 200 years of collective experience, knowledge, and insight to share with you as you step through this process.
Helping Hearts Foundation hopes you’ll use us as a sounding board, knowing that you’ll always be able to talk with another human being who knows how to listen to your unique situation, understands what you are going through, and can help guide you through the process.
The care givers of Helping Hearts Foundation are trained and bonded, have gone through a thorough background check, and are covered by liability insurance and worker’s compensation. And, our care givers are caring professionals who strive to provide care in a manner that gives all involved peace of mind and comfort.
Helping Hearts Foundation’s staff are committed to making a difference, one person at a time, so please give us a call today at 916.368.7200.