Professional elderly caregiving is growing throughout the country and has been a mainstay in the western world for many decades. But what is it really? On a family level, it’s simply a family member taking care of an older family member. It’s helping with feeding, dressing, getting around the house, going to doctor’s appointments, being a listener, providing companionship, making sure they take their meds, but basically what we term “Activities of Daily Living (ADL).”
Caregivers, whether from the family or professionally trained outsiders, aren’t nurses, and they certainly aren’t doctors. They are people who provide care, particularly for people who can no longer be alone. If you cannot handle your senior family member, your ill spouse, an aunty or others, here are a few things to consider when hiring a professional caregiver.
- What do their patients and clients say about their service? Do they offer testimonials from patients or is it all just sales hype on websites and magazines?
- Do they have a solid history and track record in-home care or is it mainly glossy ads in websites and magazines?
- Are they attached to any credible health care organization or just a standalone team of caregivers?
Quality of Service
- Can they give you a documented care plan committing to achievable care objectives that you can track to know if your loved one is progressing or regressing in happiness, independent living or health?
- Do they have active training and certification programs for their caregivers? Any international certification program affiliations?
- Do they actively solicit feedback from their clients and patients as part of their quality standards? Do they make the feedback available to you?
- Do they commit to a primary/backup caregiver for your care or is it a new nurse each week creating much stress for you and your loved one under care?
Cost of Care
- Are they transparent about the costs involved or does it look deceptively cheap upfront in comparison with looming hidden costs appearing once care gets underway and you are committed?
- Does the price look too good to be true? Cheap and best in class care do not go hand in hand. Shortcuts will be made to save costs and resulting care may suffer in quality or substandard materials that may be used on a patient.
Safety and Security
- Does their organization have in place control processes needed to ensure caregivers do not spread diseases and biotoxins from house to house?
- Have all caregivers been background-checked and vetted by the company?
- Does the organization take steps to ensure that your property and belongings are safe while their staff is in your home?