Looking for a Senior Care Provider? Four Tips for Finding the Best for Your Needs
By Meghan Belnap
In-home care is non-medical care provided right in the client’s home by professionally trained caregivers, also known as personal care assistants, that enables you or your loved one to continue to live independently. It is custodial care for elderly or disabled people and assists with daily living activities, such as assistance with safety, eating, bathing, dressing, grooming, light housekeeping, grocery shopping, preparation of meals, medication reminders, giving companionship, driving to appointments and other designated chores that the clients can no longer do for themselves. The caregiver's function is as an extra set of eyes, hands, feet and strength.
Explore in-home care providers
Senior care can be given by independent contractors or through an agency that hires, screens, trains, supervises and pays the caregivers, as well as paying their taxes, liability insurance, bond and filling out and adhering to any necessary forms. If your insurance doesn’t cover in-home care, then there are Medicare options that may be able to help. The best thing to do when comparing options is to speak with a Medicare advisor or your insurance provider to find what fits in your budget and also meets your needs.
Ask what licenses the care providers have
Every state has its own specifications as to what type of training and licensing in-home caregivers need, and you can check those out online, especially if you want to hire an independent person. While most caregivers do not provide medical assistance the way a doctor or nurse can, some choose to be trained in basic emergency aid and some even are trained to recognize symptoms of heart attacks, diabetic issues and other common emergencies faced by many older adults. If you have a specialized condition such as diabetes, high or low blood pressure, or heart murmurs, it may be wise to ask around for a caregiver that is familiar with your condition.
Consult with a doctor for recommendations
Finding recommendations for caregivers is difficult. However, your doctor may have personally looked into agencies in your area. Your primary doctor should be able to give recommendations for who to consider, or at the very least be able to point you towards who to ask for these recommendations. While this may not get you information on every caregiver agency in your area, it will at least help you narrow down your options.