When a loved-one is no longer able to fully care for themselves, and the thought of leaving home to receive assistance is stressful and daunting, in-home care for the elderly is the perfect solution. In-home care is an efficient and practical means of ensuring the safety, health, and happiness, of your loved-one.
Before considering possible caregivers, it is imperative that you and your loved-one establish the necessities required to ensure care and comfort. Preparing for in-home care begins with discussing your loved-one’s needs, desires, and the suggestion of their doctor, as well as prepping the home for care assistance.
How to Prepare For In-Home Care for the Elderly:
Discussion with a Loved One
Making the decision to obtain in-home care for an elderly loved-one can be daunting. If your loved-one is uncertain about in-home care, the pressure to find the right caregiver can be stressful. Reassuring your loved-one that in-home care will preserve their independence and health can provide peace of mind, easing your loved-one into in-home care assistance. To make sure they feel in control, be sure to answer all of their questions and address all of their concerns. When discussing the beginning of in-home care, consider the following tips:
Highlight the Positives
Focus on how in-home care will preserve your loved-one’s independence. Reiterate that in-home care is all about ensuring your loved-one’s health and safety. Reassure your loved-one that they will still be in charge of daily tasks and decisions, such as eating schedules, bathing schedules, what daily activities to accomplish, and what hobbies are undertaken. Tending to your loved-one’s peace of mind by reassuring their independence will smooth the transition into in-home care.
Talk About the Benefits
Be sure to completely, and thoroughly, discuss what your loved-one’s in-home care will look like. Be sure to explain exactly what the caregiver will provide. Be specific when discussing the daily benefits assistance will provide and emphasis how a caregiver will relieve the burdens of difficult, or impossible, daily tasks. Discuss how a caregiver will assist with the Activities of Daily Living, as well as transportation, cooking, and cleaning. With in-home care, your loved-one is ensured a clean and positive environment where they can continue to independently pursue any hobbies or activities they choose without being weighed down by the difficulty of living alone.
Include your Loved-One’s Doctor
Your loved-one may feel more at ease with in-home care if they receive a recommendation, or “seal of approval,” from their doctor. With their doctor’s endorsement, your loved-one may respond more enthusiastically to the notion of in-home care. While talking with their doctor, you may collaborate on what kind of care is needed, reflecting on both personal needs and medical needs. In-home care is a common, normal development for the elderly–collaborating with their doctor will help your loved-one focus on the personal benefits, and medical benefits, of in-home care.
Talk with Potential Caregivers Together
It is vital that your loved-one participate in the interviewing process. Your loved-one may want to ask their own questions and voice their own, independent concerns. Encouraging your loved-one to take the lead during the interviewing process ensures your loved-one feels comfortable and in control.
Preparing the Home
Although the caregiver, a Certified Nursing Assistant, is professionally trained and prepared for any situation, you will want to make sure precautions have been taken for when the caregiver is both present and absent. Adapting the home for optimum safety reduces injury risk, allows the caregiver to focus solely on your loved-one, and minimizes your loved-one’s struggle when they are alone.
To prevent unnecessary burns, and subsequent slipping and bruising, install anti-scalding devices in all baths and showers. Anti-scalding devices ensure that bath/shower water never exceeds a certain temperature. Without an anti-scalding device, your loved-one is at risk of being trapped in dangerously scalding water.
To prevent slippage, falls, and subsequent bruising, sprainings, or breakage, install handlebars in all baths and showers. Make sure the handlebars are within a comfortable reach from any location in the bath or shower. Falling in the bath and shower is one of the leading causes of broken bones and severe bruising in the elderly–prevent unnecessary injury by installing handlebars to steady, and guide, your loved-one.
You may also want to look into alternative bathing options, such as sitting showers or taller tubs, which provide a safe, and easy, entrance and exit when bathing/showering.
Be sure that the smoke detectors emit a noise loud enough to alert your loved-one in case of a fire. If your loved-one is hard of hearing, or has a visual impairment, be sure to equip the home with vibrating, or strobing, smoke detectors.
If your loved-one has concerns about falling, consider installing motion sensors that will alert nearby family or law enforcement of an abrupt stop in motion–with this installation, your loved-one will receive help fast, preventing them from being stranded alone, or injured, for an extended period of time.
The Search Process
It is important to find a caregiver that fulfills all of your loved-one’s needs. Using your newly compiled list of needs and desires, interview the most compatible caregivers who will ensure your loved-one’s happiness and health. When searching for in-home caregivers, be sure to:
Establish Precise Needs
Work with doctors, previous caregivers, and the loved-one in order to set the standards for what is needed with a new caregiver. Determine what chores will need to be done, what medications need to be monitored, and the prime hours your love-one will need assistance. Be sure everyone knows which tasks your loved-one needs assistance with, as well as any transportation that may be required.
When researching possible caregivers, or companies, you want to thoroughly vet each candidate to ensure your loved one is treated properly and professionally, preserving their safety, well-being, and happiness. You will want to ask for references and work history. You will also want to carefully observe the potential caregiver, looking for characteristics that cannot be quantified, such as work ethic, mindfulness, compassion, and patience. You will want to meet with the potential caregiver in person, and may even want to conduct a background-check. Reviewing their social media accounts and contacting all references can help fill-out the candidate’s character.
Try a Trial Period
Once you’ve selected the desired caregiver, giving them an “audition” or “try-out” period is an effective way to transition the caregiver into the household. Over a two-week timeframe, the caregiver will demonstrate their skills and abilities as a personable, helpful caregiver. If your loved-one is then reluctant or unsure, about the selected caregiver, you are not committed to continue your in-home care with them. You want to make sure your loved-one connects with their potential caregiver so that an positive, intimate friendship (and environment) can bloom.
Do not micromanage the caregiver, but be sure to maintain a continued presence in the household. Stop by for occasional visits, be sure your loved-one’s needs are fulfilled. Always be honest with your caregiver: if you feel something is worrisome, or being mismanaged, communicate with your caregiver so the situation can be effectively remedied.
Trust the Caregiver
Caregivers are, usually certified Nursing Assistants who are professionally trained to care for the elderly. Your caregiver is a knowledgeable professional whose experience will properly care for your loved-one’s health, happiness, and safety. Trusting your caregiver allows them to best care for your loved-one.
Choosing In-Home Care for Your Loved-One
Choosing in-home care for your loved-one ensures their safety, happiness, independence, and well-being. As you move forward with the process of choosing a caregiver, be sure to include your loved-one during every step of the process: listen to their needs, answer their questions, address their concerns. Deciding to invite a caregiver into your loved-one’s home is an intimate, important decision that may be daunting. With the right attention, research, and care, you can ensure your loved-one is matched with the ideal caregiver. With in-home care, your loved-one retains their independence without having to worry about their health or safety. Contact Comfort Home Care for more information.