Not everyone who has a family has the resources to take care of their loved ones who become old and frail. While hiring a caregiver may sound like the easiest of all solutions, some aspects must be carefully considered to ensure the care, attention, and well-being of your loved one.
This article summarizes five (5) essential aspects that you need to consider when you are thinking of hiring a caregiver.
Whether you like it or not, hiring a caregiver costs money. Not every family has sufficient funds to hire a caregiver on an extended basis. The entire family may have to contribute a substantial amount every month to pay for a professional caregiver.
Take note that there are other expenses that you need to consider, such as the food and medicine of your elderly family member. You may also need to pay for lodgings and even medical devices such as a weight scale, blood pressure monitor, stethoscope, nebulizer, thermometer, blood glucose meter, and pulse oximeter.
Your family may also have to pay for doctor visits, nutritional supplements, special transport, and bedroom equipment such as a bedpan and a wheeled bedside table. For this reason, it is quite important to anticipate and compute all possible expenses to see if the family can afford the wages of a caregiver.
Although the entire family will be affected by the process of hiring a caregiver, not everyone has to join in the actual hiring process. The family can ask some of the more senior members of the family to take on this hiring task.
Adults will more likely have the maturity to ask the right questions when interviewing a potential caregiver. For instance, someone with experience will know that the questions to ask are different from when reviewing the quality of a home healthcare agency.
This will depend a lot on how the family perceives caregivers. Some families may be looking for a professional caregiver with the right educational background, training, and gender, and who is asking for an acceptable amount of compensation for the role. Other families may want to hire a caregiver with a car while others would prefer someone from a similar cultural background and who would be a good daily companion for the elderly.
Sometimes a family may be willing to post ads online or use job search websites. Others may be more sensitive and disseminate their need for a caregiver through family and friends. This is something that the entire family should discuss and agree before doing anything about hiring a caregiver, particularly if the family is relatively well known in the community.
Some families are very sensitive regarding this because it is necessary to hire someone who would get along well with the elderly family member. The family may need to draw up a shortlist of applicants as well as a list of interview questions.
The best person for the job of a caregiver is one who is always very kind, particularly to someone who is difficult to care for. An ideal caregiver should also have some healthcare training such as a board-certified nurse because, most likely, your loved one will have to take regular medication.
Sometimes, the best caregiver is someone from within the family. Someone who is familiar and able to relate to your loved one. Also, a relative would probably cost less to hire.
You might find this strange, but some families expect the caregiver to take on functions other than caregiving at home. For instance, if the caregiver is female, the family may expect her to cook, clean, and launder in addition to regular caregiving duties such as administering medication and giving baths.
The family must, at the onset, clearly articulate the caregiver’s scope of duties so that there are no misunderstandings. If necessary, the family may have to hire someone to take on other tasks so that the caregiver can focus on caregiving functions.
At the same time, the correct boundaries should be establishes even before the caregiver begins to work. For example, patients with dementia can be abusive to caregivers, and this, in turn, can stress out the caregivers as well as affect the quality of care.
Hiring a caregiver is oftentimes the last resort in a family’s journey to find care solutions for a loved one. It is understood that a caregiver is being hired to care for a patient. To prevent misunderstanding and stress, there should be a clear understanding with and among the family members about the caregiver’s tasks, compensations, schedules, and boundaries.
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