When it comes to caregiving assistance for aging parents, there are many questions that usually follow. What assistance is needed? Will it be few hours per day, a few hours per week, or is it full time 24 hour assistance that we need? For families wanting to proceed on their own, there are a number of considerations.
What type of care is required? Differences between caregivers can vary from those of a registered nurse, a registered practical nurse, a personal support worker or a companion. Understanding your specific level of need and what the caregiver is trained to do and is legally able to do (i. e. such as administering medications) which may vary from Province to Province or may be defined within the caregiver's Scope of Practice (for RN's and RPN's) as well as cost factors, need to be understood and considered.
What are the needs of the family of aging parents? These needs can usually broken down to three basic needs: In-home respite care during the day only; care away from the home during working hours which may include participation in an adult day program; or 24-hour full time care over a weekend or longer.
Hire a home health care agency or hire privately? Understanding the advantages of each option is vital. Several considerations inform the decision making process including ensuring references, experience and qualifications are in place; insurance coverage; illness coverage for the caregiver in the event they should get sick; billing format and practices; confidentiality; are the services tax deductible; and record-keeping, among others.
What overnight care solutions are available? If overnight care is required for aging parents, should someone move into the home or should the loved one be moved into a facility. If eligible, the Provincial Ministry of Health may be able to provide respite care in a long term facility. If not available, short stays are often available at many retirement residences and daily costs and amount of personal care varies.
What is the cost of care? In some cases, local community agencies may be able to provide minimal assistance of a few hours per week of a Personal Support Worker at no cost. For Personal Support Workers hired through and agency, hourly costs vary and there may be a minimum time requirement.
What role does personality play? While professional care is a foremost consideration ensuring personality matches is also important in the selection process. Ensure more than once candidate is interviewed, speak to other families of aging parents and get references, and suggest an afternoon trial to assess engagement between caregiver, family and the senior in the home.
What information should your provide the caregiver? Facilitating a quick and effective transition into the caregiver responsibility can be made that much easier by providing personal information such as how the older person prefers to be addressed; food likes or dislikes; allergies; whether they prefer companionship at mealtime; activities they like or dislike; areas of required assistance; best and worst times of days and other like considerations.
How do you find a caregiver? If hiring through an agency, there are several home care agencies in most communities. They are listed in the phone book and seniors directories. You can also speak to a Geriatric Care Manager about reputable agencies in the community. They can also assist with screening candidates to ensure a good match is made.
If hiring privately, a referral from a friend or family is usually the preferred route. Note however that if someone's previous experience has been looking after children, it is not the same as caring for an older adult.
Also consider joining a support group for caregivers which can provide an excellent forum for discussion and individual support to assist you in this journey.
About eldercaring. ca
Elder Caring Inc. http://www.eldercaring.ca is a group of experts with backgrounds in Social Work, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Gerontology. As working professionals in the field, all of our team members have many years of experience in working with the disabled, the elderly, and their families. The company has team members and representatives across Canada.