For many people, hiring a caregiver for a parent is a last resort, but a necessary one. Family members and friends may not be equipped to provide the needed help. A caregiver can be a blessing; they can provide help that lets a parent stay in their own home. There are also mistakes that can be made during the decision-making process, and here are five that are commonly made.
Not Researching the Caregiver or Agency
Always do thorough research into the person or company, even if they were recommended by a friend. When vetting a caregiver, ask for their credentials and previous experience; otherwise, you may not realize they aren’t qualified for the job. Leaving background checks out of the equation can leave the door open to trouble later. Also, don’t neglect to verify their education and insurance policies.
Put Off Getting Care
It’s a common mistake for families to put off finding a professional caregiver. If you aren’t equipped or qualified, it can hurt you psychologically and potentially put your parent in harm’s way. Studies have shown that caring for an aging parent without the help of a professional can lead to stress and depression.
Not Concentrating on All Factors
People tend to look at a specific aspect of caregiving, such as the cost, or whether their parent will accept it or not. The truth is everything should be considered. The skills possessed by the caregiver must be weighed as well. If they’re inexperienced, that won’t do any good either. If the only main concern is financing, then you risk leaving out other elements that are extremely important.
Reducing Your Involvement
You should ask your parent how it’s going with the caregiver from time to time. The majority of health care aids that work in homes are honest and trustworthy. It’s still good to make sure valuables are kept in a safe place and that nothing goes missing. Keep track of your mom’s or dad’s bank account as well, since elderly individuals have been taken advantage of financially.
Leaving Family Members Out
When you hire a professional caregiver, don’t do all the work yourself. Everyone should stay in the loop, including your siblings. Involve as many people as possible in the interview and background check process, and have everyone put in their two cents as to their expectations of the caregiver. Together, you can come to a conclusion regarding expectations of the person and whether they are fit for the job.
If an elderly parent needs care, choosing to get a caregiver is never an easy decision. Family involvement and professional assistance will help get access to the help needed. Reading’s Seniors Helping Seniors can be the best choice, but you still have to think about the steps you are taking. If not, then you risk making mistakes that will lead to many regrets down the line. Be diligent and proactive and you may find a great caregiver that tends to your parent’s needs while making them happy.