Getting help for yourself or a loved one can be daunting, but finding the right caregiver is essential. It can be done by seeking a professional agency or placing an ad for private hire. Both have benefits and drawbacks.
If you’re unsure about how to begin, ask friends and family members for recommendations. They may have experienced the same challenges you are facing and can offer advice about how they found a caregiver. Also, consider calling your local Area Agency on Aging and asking about community programs that provide caregiving assistance.
A home health care agency can be the fastest option because they already have trained caregivers on staff. Agencies can match your needs to the appropriate caregiver quickly, and they often have back-up care available for unexpected situations like sick days or vacations. Hiring from an agency can be more expensive than hiring a registry caregiver, but the agency will handle screening, background checks and other HR responsibilities and is legally responsible for the caregiver’s work.
In addition to contacting your Area Agency on Aging and home health care providers, you can try a variety of online resources to find a caregiver, including caregiver search websites and forums. Using an Internet database can be a fast and easy way to locate caregivers, but it is important to use caution and thoroughly screen potential caregivers to make sure they are safe and qualified to work with your loved one.
The Family Caregiver Alliance provides a free online tool called CareNav that organizes caregiver resources into a single dashboard and is personalized for optimal organization. Another resource is the Eldercare Locator, which provides contact information for local home care agencies.
Once you’ve found a caregiver, take time to get to know him or her. Introduce them to your loved one and talk about their daily routines. This will ensure that the caregiver understands the person’s wants, needs and schedule. Then, the caregiver will be able to provide the best care possible.
Caregiving can be a stressful job, and it is not uncommon for caregivers to feel overwhelmed and frustrated with their duties. To stay sane and effective, caregivers should seek ways to relax and relieve stress in their lives. One way is through exercise, which promotes better sleep and improves mood. Another way is through a support group, which can provide an opportunity to vent frustrations and discuss solutions with others in similar circumstances.
It is important for caregivers to recognize that they cannot do it all themselves, and accept the fact that they need to take some time off. By doing so, they will be able to be more productive and provide their loved ones with the best care. It’s also important for caregivers to avoid taking rejection personally when trying to request assistance from family and friends. If the request is declined, it’s likely because the person is unable or unwilling to assist. If this happens, the caregiver should ask again at a later date.