Organizing in-home care may be a realistic option if you have an older parent or grandparent who needs some extra care, but is understandably unwilling to move into a nursing home.
Home care is often preferable as long as the person can maintain some degree of independence, and a caregiver visiting the home is able to assist with cooking, dressing, bathing and various everyday choirs as well as driving them to important doctor or hospital appointments. Keep the following tips in mind, to make sure you are getting the best caregiver.
When hiring someone to provide care in the home, flexibility and being able to cover any last minute changes of plan is important, although many caregivers will work a specific and fixed shift. However, traffic or unanticipated emergencies or the needs of your loved one may require them to be somewhat flexible and perhaps stay a little later than their scheduled end time until their replacement caregiver arrives.
Ideally, your elderly relative should have someone with them at all times, especially if they suffer from dementia or are likely to injure themselves when alone. Its all too easy for an elderly and frail person to try to prepare a meal for themselves, and end up leaving the stove turned on and burning the house down, or hurting themselves badly.
Paying attention to any significant changes in your loved one's appearance or behavior is also something that any home caregiver ought to be doing. Changes in eating habits, levels of energy, and the color of skin should all be noted, especially as most elderly people see their doctor regularly, up to several times each month. A caregiver providing home based care can then address any issues or major changes as quickly as possible, and the ability to act quickly and decisively can prevent a visit to the hospital, a severe illness, or even the death of the patient.
Many older people who have care in their home simply like having someone to talk to and interact with on a regular basis, and it helps if the caregiver has the same interests as the patient. Being able to sit and talk about a subject important to both of them is a big advantage, and being able to watch a TV show or play a game with them is also something that is appreciated.
A good caregiver is able and willing to go beyond just looking after the medical or everyday needs of the patient, and ends up spending quality time with them, perhaps taking them out shopping, having lunch with them, or taking them for a drive. Becoming a companion and even a friend to the older person is just as important as providing healthcare.