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4 Tips to Choosing a Senior Home Caregiver

Finding the best home caregiver for your aging parents or other family members may seem to be a very daunting task. We each want to take extra precautions to ensure those we love are in the best possible care. How is the best way to do this? Which steps can we take to maintain a safe and positive environment for those within our care? Following these easy steps will give you the peace of mind that you have the best possible care for your elderly family members.

  • Know your criteria. Every caregiver has a different specialty when it comes to the process of caring for the elderly. Understanding what you would like to see in the caregiver will allow you to weed out those who will not fit your qualifications. Also, you should accept the fact that not all applicants will fit your image of the best caregiver. While this is absolutely fine, you should remember it is reality.
  • Talk to as many caregivers as possible. If you interview a greater number of applicants, you will be able to understand who will best fit your job description for senior home care. The diverse amount of caregivers in the Manhattan Beach area allows you to choose the best caregiver with a greater amount of ease.
  • Research their experience. In a case such as this, understanding just how qualified the caregiver you are hiring is will ensure you have peace of mind about your decision. Researching their education, former work experience, and other qualifications helps you to better understand them as a qualified home senior caretaker.
  • Ensure they understand what you are looking for. Perhaps most important of all, talking through your expectations with the caregiver you hire will maintain you are both on the same page regarding the work you are looking for. Throughout this process, work with them to better understand the elderly family member they will be tending to.

Although this may be a bit of a stressful time for you, hiring a qualified caregiver for your senior family member will be much easier if you understand your criteria, talk to as many caregivers as possible, properly research applicants, and ensure they understand the work description. Choosing the proper candidate for home care in Manhattan Beach will be much less worrisome if you properly go about finding and interviewing potential hires.

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Avoid These 4 Mistakes When Hiring Caregiver Services

When your parents reach the age of needing a 24-hour caregiver, you don’t want to make any wrong decisions. Your parents took care of you, and now it’s your turn to take care of them. You can’t do it all, and that’s okay. You can hire a professional caregiver that will help you and your parents. When you’re searching for the right caregiver, make sure to avoid these four mistakes.

Putting It Off

If you put off picking out the correct caregiver for your family, you might decide to go with a company that doesn’t fit any of your needs. Elderly people can sometimes begin to have rapid declines in their health. When this happens, it can be easy to make quick and hasty decisions that you will regret. If you need to hire a caregiver almost immediately, it is easy to hire someone who isn’t a professional, and that is the biggest mistake you can make.

Focus on the Individual and the Company

When you hire a professional caretaker for your parents, it’s easy to get carried away in the details of the company instead of the individual caretaker. It’s important to gather a good idea of the company’s standards, but you need to remember that your parents will be spending all of their time with the individual and not with the company. You need to make sure the individual is someone that your parents will enjoy spending time with.

Not Staying Involved

It’s very important to stay involved in your parents’ lives after you make the switch to caregiver services. Make sure to stay in contact with your parents even after the caregiver leaves. There is always a chance that your parents don’t feel that their needs are being met or respected. If that’s the case, you are your parents voice. You are able to switch caregivers whenever you feel necessary.

Not Keeping Everyone in the Loop

You may be the primary person your parents go to when they need something. You have been taking care of them for years because other family members have been too lazy or live too far away to help you. If this is the case, be sure to inform the whole family about the steps you’ve taken in hiring a full time caretaker.

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5 Benefits of Hiring in Home Caregivers

There aren’t many things that can turn your life around like a family member losing physical or mental capabilities. Some people often think the only option is sending your beloved family member into a rehabilitation center or a nursing home. That isn’t your only option. In home caregivers can provide services to help your loved one continue to live at home.

No Need to Lose Your Independence

When you begin to live in a nursing home, it is normal to feel a loss of your independence. Many people decide to move into a nursing home, because there are some things that they can’t accomplish at home alone. Nursing homes offer medical assistance and help with things that you might not be able to do on your own, but you have to live with them to achieve it. At-home caregivers allow you get to receive help in the comfort of your own home.

Help around the House

In your older years, it becomes more difficult to get simple tasks done such a cooking for yourself, cleaning up around the house, doing laundry, and taking clothes to the dry cleaners. With the help of an at home caregiver, things like light housekeeping services are completed for you. They can help you complete your laundry and other chores while also providing you with meal preparation services. There is no need to stress anymore about how you will get things done.

Private Attention

At nursing homes, it is not uncommon for the employees to forget about your personal needs. With an at home care provider, you will be given the private attention that you deserve. Your wants and needs will always be considered and taken care of with ease.

Driving

If you or your loved one has an issue with driving, whether it is poor sight, loss of function or pain from driving, you will be able to have transport to and from doctor’s appointments, grocery stores, and other errands. In home caregivers understand that there are still things you need to get done throughout your day, regardless of your age.

Personalized Meals

More often than not, nursing home meals are similar to a cafeteria in a grade school. They have a schedule with specific meals each day. Over time it can become so mundane to eat the same thing over and over again, especially if you don’t like it. Home caregivers can cook for you, and use the ingredients that you desire.

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6 Things You Need to Learn about Senior Home Care

There are a variety of senior home care agencies, and not all of them focus on the same areas, nor do they all hold to the same standards. If you’re investigating senior home care agencies for yourself or a loved one, you should be as informed as possible while you’re looking for the right agency and the right senior home care services. Continue reading for 6 things you need to learn about senior home care agencies, so you can find the right agency and acquire the correct services for your needs.

Non-Medical Care

Non-medical care agencies do not provide medical assistance. They provide what is considered non-skilled care, such as dressing, bathing, meal preparation, and walking or companionship.

Home Health

Home health agencies are what most people think of when senior home care is discussed. Home health agencies are licensed, typically Medicare certified, and accept third-party billing for medical services. Home health agencies provide nursing assistance by licensed nurses and can assist with medical needs.

Staffing

A staffing or registry agency performs employment services for both skilled and non-skilled works. Registries match the worker to the client, whereas an agency may employ the caregiver directly. Since both skilled and non-skilled workers are available, many of your needs may be met by contacting a single agency.

Private or Independent

Private or independent providers are privately employed directly by the person requiring the services. As a private employer, the client is responsible for payroll taxes, Social Security withholdings, etc.

Assessment

One of the first things that should be conducted is a needs assessment, to help determine what a particular client will require and how frequently and to what degree. This is where a weekly or monthly calendar will be constructed, and the home will be examined for any potential hazards.

Qualifications

One of the first questions people typically ask is what they can qualify for, and the National Council on Aging has a helpful website that helps you find out. If your loved one qualifies for certain services or assistance, that can help you to navigate the rest of the process much more easily.

Not all senior home care agencies are the same, but with the above information, you should be able to find an agency that meets your needs.

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When to Hire Senior Home Care Services

There is often a lot of resistance and hesitation when it comes to hiring senior home care services. Many people don’t like admitting that they need help with daily activities, and family members don’t always know how to broach the subject. Unfortunately, this means that a senior relative can go years without assistance, since it can be several years from first witnessing the need to acquiring aid. This can become burdensome for people in the family, who are not always well equipped to handle such needs and may not have the time to devote to home care. It’s important to be able to notice and acknowledge when it’s time to hire senior home care services.

Noticing the Signs

Loved ones might notice that there are missed doctor’s appointments or that medications are left untaken. You may have observed failing hygiene, household chores left undone, or house pets or plants that aren’t tended to as well as they should be. All of these can be initial indicators that home care assistance could be beneficial. More severe signs may be distracted driving, difficulty remembering names, dates, or addresses, or that already present safety and health concerns become more acute.

Although discussing home health care might be uncomfortable or embarrassing, such assistance can help encourage a greater sense of independence, aid with transportation and mobility, and can help to ensure that health care needs are met promptly and with appropriate attentiveness and urgency. A single awkward conversation can be the first step to getting your loved one the help they need.

Full or part-time services are often all that are necessary. Staffing agencies can often be the easiest approach, since they locate the caregivers, handle payroll taxes, and perform all administrative work and conduct background checks. This is a relatively easy way to find qualified and verified home health care professionals. Another option is that you would hire a nurse or other caregiver directly. This would place the burden of performing the background check, as well as verifying references and credentials, on you. You would also be responsible for payroll taxes, Social Security withholding, etc., which can often seem a bit overwhelming. However, it’s possible that it could also save you money. It will ultimately be up to you to decide what’s best and to ensure that your loved one’s needs are met.

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6 Questions to Ask When Hiring an In Home Care Assistant

home care assistantIf you have an aging loved one, it may be time to think about hiring a senior in home caregiver to help them with their daily activities and ensure they are safe. The cost, both financially and emotionally, of long-term caregiving extends beyond the senior into their family. On average, 83% of primary caregivers contributed financially during the long-term care situation of their loved one, so it is important that you choose a home care assistant that you trust.

Here are some questions to make sure to ask during your senior care interview.
Q: What is your background? Do you have any experience in caregiving? If so, explain.
It is always a good idea to start with a broad question to give you a general sense of the person. You will want to look for patterns that show experience being compassionate, interacting with people, and experience working independently.

Q: What specifically makes you qualified for working with my loved one?
If you have any requirements concerning specific skills, such as cooking, CPR, experience moving a person from a wheelchair to a bed, or bathing, make sure to speak up early.

Q: Why are you interested in being a home care assistant?
Their answer to this question will give you an idea of how committed they are to the profession.

Q: Are you comfortable with my loved one’s mental state?
It depends on the current condition of your loved one, but any caregiver needs to be completely comfortable with being around someone who may be silent, moody, angry, or have memory problems. These factors can sometimes intimidate assistants, so it is important to have full disclosure during the interview.

Q: Will you be able to pass a background check?
Even if you are hiring through an agency, this is always a very important detail to ask. If they have already been through the process with an agency, make sure to contact the agency to see what their process entailed.

Q: Are you bonded?
If a home care assistant is bonded, this means their work is insured. Having someone who is bonded can provide an extra level of reassurance; however, it is important to note that bonding coverage varies.

Asking these questions will help you pick out the perfect caregiver for your loved one, while giving you incredible peace of mind.

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4 Things to Remember When Discussing Home Care Services With Your Elderly Parents

Dealing with elderly parents can feel a bit odd for most people. Your parents are the ones who cared for you no matter what. They’ve seen you at your absolute worst, watched you do horrible things to them, and still they love you no matter what. Now, it’s starting to be that time when you finally return the favor.

On average, 63 years old is the age of retirement in the United States, but that doesn’t mean most people immediately need serious medical and home care at that age. It just means that maybe you all, as a family, should start thinking about it. Talking to your aging parents can be difficult because of the awkwardness of it all, but if you are respectful to them, hear what they have to say, and show them why hiring a home care service might be right for them, eventually, they could be happier as a result.

Here are a few things you should keep in mind when mentioning senior care services to your parents.

Make a Plan

You can’t just go into this conversation with nothing tangible to show them or just wing the conversation. They’ll see right through any fake sentiments you’re giving off if you’re not genuine. It’s important for you to really think about all the options, scenarios and reasons why this is right for them. Show them you actually took the time to think in their best interests and not just for convenient purposes.

Show Them the Benefits

Show your parents how receiving this type of care can benefit the entire family. Maybe it’ll free up more time for their grandkids to see them. Maybe you will be able to get that big promotion at work. Or maybe it’ll just allow you all to get closer as a family. Another major benefit of home care services is that they’ll be able to actually stay in their own home. Wholly 90% of elders want to remain in their home as they grow older, and this will enable them to do so.

Encourage Them to Find New Hobbies and Activities

It’s important to let them know that just because they’re going to receive a little more attention from care providers, that doesn’t mean they can’t have fun. Encourage them to find a new hobby, project, or activity that they can spend their time on and accomplish. Maybe they can even work with the home care assistant to accomplish something. The more activities retirees engage in, the better. The happiest seniors participate in around four regular activities while the least happy only do one or two.

LISTEN to Them

The most important thing you need to do when discussing these issues with your aging loved ones is to actually listen to what they have to say. You can’t just force this on them, because it will inevitably have a negative effect. Hear how they feel about growing older, about receiving this type of care, what they want to do, and, again, truly listen to what they have to say.

They are your parents after all, and they deserve the best care in the world.

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Senior In Home Care Myths: Part 2

senior in home caregivers

In continuing to debunk the common myths about senior in home care services, here is Part 2 of our Mythbusters Series!

Myth 6: Senior in home caregivers cannot provide the same quality of care as other full-time facilities.

Reality: All providers must go through extensive training to become a certified home care caregiver. This is a screening process that includes passing a senior in home caregivers competency test, OSHA exams, ethics testing, skill set evaluation, and basic health and safety training, just to name a few.

Myth 7: My loved one does not need 24 hour home care, so we do not qualify.

Reality: There is no minimum requirement for in home care. No matter what your needs are, from helping your parent bathe regularly, to cooking and preparing meals, to transportation, there are so many services caregivers can provide. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help with even the littlest thing, because that is what the senior in home caregivers are here for!

Myth 8: In home care will hinder my parent from doing what they love.

Reality: This is not true, and in fact, the opposite is true! Caregivers can make sure that your parent will have the flexibility to do what they want while in their own home! After all, the happiest of retirees engage in three to four activities daily, often with a little help. Considering that the average age of retirement is 63, many people become set in their ways by the time they need senior care. Their caregiver can help them cook, go for walks, knit, and many other activities. The opportunities are endless.

Myth 9: Home care is basically babysitting.

Reality: The caregiver is not a teacher or a disciplinarian; he or she is there to ensure the safety and comfort of your loved one. Not only can in home caregivers give you peace of mind, but many older Americans actually prefer to have a third party helping them. About 55% of seniors say their greatest fears regarding long-term illness was becoming a burden on their family. Caregivers can help carry that burden.

Myth 10: The caregiver will take over my parent’s care plan.

Reality: The caregiver comes to the home to offer medical guidance and any necessary help. They will not intrude on a family’s lifestyle, and will work with the family to fit in comfortably where they are needed.

Senior in home care can be incredibly beneficial for anyone who needs some extra help going through their daily activities. While it is a lot to think about, senior home care can positively impact the life of your loved one, and take the burden of stress off of you.

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