12 tips for in-home elder care
For Angie's List members who live far away from their aging parents, finding a reliable handyman to take care of routine maintenance is a huge relief. For those who need home health care, hospice or more intensive care, finding the right person or facility will be among the most important decisions they’ll ever make.
- Plan before a crisis hits. Don't wait for an emergency to happen before seeking care for an elderly relative. You can make more informed decisions by discussing care options ahead of time.
- Assess your elder’s needs. Determine what type of care is most important. Make a list of specific chores and duties needed for care. Be sure to include personal and medical care as well as household tasks that will need to be done.
- Research your options. Talk to agencies as well as independent providers about the care you are seeking then check their ratings on Angie’s List.
- Conduct an in-depth interview. Meet with each candidate in person. If possible, include the potential care recipient in the screening process. Be specific about all the tasks involved. Do not hire someone you are not 100 percent comfortable with.
- Check references: Ask the provider to supply you with a list of references who can talk about their quality of work. Contact current and former patients, their family members, and doctors.
- Ask about training. How does the provider select and train its employees?
- Are they licensed? Many states require home care providers to earn a license to operate. Your state health department can provide you information on its licensed providers.
- Consider a background check. While agencies typically screen its employees, it’s up to you when hiring an independent provider.
- Is there a Plan B? What procedures does the provider have in place to handle emergencies? Are caregivers available 24 hours a day, seven days a week?
- What is the financial process? Be sure the provider provides written statements explaining the costs and payment options.
- Be careful with financial and confidential information. Do not give access to any accounts. Avoid having the worker handle any important communications with doctors, lawyers and accountants.
- Share the recipient’s interests. Provide some ideas on how the care provider and recipient can spend their time together.