When you hire a caregiver, they take on many of the tasks you normally would perform yourself. This can help free you up to run errands, attend appointments for yourself or simply get some much needed rest. Many people find that their loved ones react positively to the presence of a trusted care provider, making it easier for them to follow instructions and complete daily activities.
You can hire a caregiver by hiring directly or using an agency, each with its own pros and cons. Agencies often screen applicants, provide health aide training and handle essential paperwork such as contracts and employment records. They are a good choice for those who do not have the time to interview applicants personally and want someone else to choose the person they hire. However, you will have ultimate responsibility for complaints about your caregiver.
If you prefer to find a caregiver yourself, you can ask for recommendations from family and friends who have used a home care agency. You can also search online for home care agencies in your area and read reviews. Some home care agencies offer services such as a referral network to connect you with other caregivers or can refer you to a local support group for families of loved ones with dementia or other chronic illness.
Both the traditional way of finding a private caregiver and using an agency can involve a long list of contacts, phone calls, screenings, interviews and meetings to sift through candidates. This can be a very time-consuming process and requires patience and diligence.
Regardless of the method you choose, it is important to talk with your loved one and write down a care plan that defines the types of duties you expect the caregiver to do, how often they should be available, what kind of specialized care (such as bathing, driving or cooking) is required and any other special requirements that are important to your loved one. You should also discuss a pay schedule, whether the caregiver is paid weekly, bimonthly or monthly, and your rules regarding petty cash.
You should be aware that although theft is rare, you might want to lock up valuables in the home and make sure your loved one doesn’t report a missing item that is really just stashed away or even forgotten about. You should also create a system to keep track of any visitors and set rules for their interaction with your loved one.
It is a huge job to care for a relative full-time, especially when you have a career and other responsibilities outside the home. It is important to take time for yourself and seek out support in your community. New York City’s CaringKind and the Alzheimer’s Association offer resources for family caregivers, as does MOCHA. There are also a number of Meetup groups in the city focused on caregivers and their needs, such as NYC Caregiver. find a caregiver near me