Should You Enlist the Help of a Home Care Worker?

We naturally want our loved ones to live at home as long as possible. As they age, however, this often puts us in the role of caregiver, advocate, and decision maker. Knowing when it’s time to hire a home care worker can be essential in ensuring your loved one continues with the quality of life he or she currently enjoys, despite needing more assistance.

When Do You Need to Hire Additional Help?
In many cases, we settle into a routine caring for our loved ones. Over time, though, it can become more and more stressful and time consuming. We begin to recognize that we are helping more than we were before. In many cases, it’s not even the changes in our loved ones we notice. Instead, we notice that we are finding ourselves struggling to keep up our own routines and find time to run errands. When you begin to feel this way, it is an indication that it is probably time to consider hiring a home care worker to help you with the caregiving responsibilities.

What Do I Need Help With?
The first thing you have to do before hiring a home care worker is to determine both your loved one’s needs and your own needs as a caregiver. Think about your loved one’s ability to take care of himself: Can he shower, get dressed, and eat on his own, or will assistance be needed? Will help around the house, including preparing meals, be required? What about medication management, nursing care, or help with prescribed exercises? Answering these questions can help you determine the background and training required in the home care worker you hire. Also consider that you can hire someone for around-the-clock supervision, regular visits, or even just for respite care so that you can get a much-needed break.

How Do You Hire a Professional Caregiver?
Many people choose to work through an agency to hire a home care worker, but it isn’t necessary to do so. Agencies offer both advantages and disadvantages. In some cases, your choice is limited when you use an agency. They will choose the worker that best fits your needs, and streamline the process for you.

If you want to hire without an agency, you can post wanted ads online or on local bulletin boards and ask friends for recommendations. You can also use a website like CareLinx, which offers a way to find an experienced home care worker without an agency. Of course, when you aren’t using an agency, the responsibility to choose the best qualified worker is totally up to you. AARP offers tips on how to navigate the hiring process, including what to ask in an interview, how to check references, and more.

The responsibility of offering the best care possible to our elderly family members can be both confusing and stressful, especially when the time comes that you aren’t sure you can provide the level of care necessary on your own. By knowing when to consider hiring a professional home care worker and the process to find the best one, you can be prepared when this time comes.

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