I would bet that most moms have read this book. Back when I was pregnant it seemed like this was the ‘go to’ book to prepare for what was yet to come. Personally, I remember reading and highlighting the pages, trying to ready myself for this enormous change that was about to happen to my life. I loved that book because it prepared me for the unknown. By the time my baby arrived I was armed with information- I was ready (or so I thought!).
On the complete opposite end of the life spectrum it seems like we are less and less prepared for growing old. It’s almost as if aging sneaks up on us. Maybe it’s denial that it’s happening, or maybe it’s because we are so busy thinking about everything else- but it seems like we could use a “What to Expect When You Grow Old” book?
If I were to write such book, I’d include a chapter on what to expect when hiring homecare. Hiring help in the home can be a wonderful way to ‘age in place’. People can receive care similar to what they would get in an Assisted Living, but in the comfort of their own home. And as with any new thing, it’s helpful to know what to expect.
Below are my top 10 tips on – “what to expect when hiring homecare”.
- 1.Expect a to have an assessment– the homecare agent will spend a couple of hours asking questions and gathering information on what exactly the client is looking for. They need all of this info so that they can then write up a plan of care tailored to the particular client. This is also a great opportunity for the client to get to know the homecare agency. They can ask questions and learn more about who they will be working with.
- 2.Expect several days between the assessment and when care actually starts. Many people assume that caregivers are available at a moment’s notice, but this is unrealistic. In some emergency cases agencies will be able to provide a caregiver with little notice, but for most clients finding the right caregiver, who has the appropriate skill set and availability, may take time. We’ve had clients expect care immediately- and when we aren’t able to provide that they move on to another homecare agency- only to have the exact same situation. Be patient… we want to make the best possible match and that might take time- but it will be worth the wait.
- 3.Expect communication– the homecare company should communicate with you on who will be caring for you or your loved one. They should also communicate to you any changes in scheduling or concerns the caregiver has about the client’s health or status. They should be available 24/7 to answer emergency calls.
- 4.Expect trained caregivers who are certified nursing assistants. If you are receiving 24 hour, overnight or live in care- expect that there will be more than one caregiver caring for you. It is impossible for one person to work that many hours!
- 5.Expect the agency to do all they can to provide consistency. Expect that sometimes the same caregiver might not be available (people do get sick or have emergencies), but expect the agency to have a back up caregiver to provide service.
- 6.Expect that homecare is paid for privately- or with long term care insurance. Unfortunately, it is not covered by Medicare.
- 7.Expect that the caregiver might not look busy 100% of the time. Many people hire caregivers to assist them with their daily needs and help with light housekeeping or transportation- but there will be some down time when the housework is done and the client is asleep or comfortable. The caregiver may be reading a book or watching TV. They are there and ready to assist as needed- but know that they may not look busy all of the time.
- 8.Expect to be able to make changes to the schedule– you decide how much care you want, when you want it. Most agencies have a 4 hour minimum- but otherwise it is up to you to decide how much care is necessary. As a courtesy, if you are cancelling care- you should call at least 24 hours in advance avoid being charged.
- 9.Expect that English may not be the first language of the caregiver. In our 9 years of providing care we have found that some of the best caregivers were born in different countries. However, it is always our goal to hire people who can communicate clearly.
- 10.Most of all, expect compassion, professionalism and respect. Expect a relationship you can trust.
Knowing what to expect when hiring homecare can help alleviate any concerns. Having a realistic view of what to expect makes the whole process much smoother.
Please let us know how we can assist you or your loved one. Capability Homecare strives to be an industry leader in providing safe, compassionate care in the home.