The Ultimate Guide to Searching for a Caregiver

COVID-19 has, unfortunately, created an entire new class of people with disabled or aging family members to support. When it comes to finding reliable, compassionate care, your choices can be overwhelming.

Do you choose to bring a caregiver into your home or bring your patient to a care facility?

Fortunately, we have you covered. Here is the ultimate guide to finding and hiring a caregiver for a special needs or elderly person requiring care.

Who needs a caregiver?

Seniors are not the only group of people who can benefit from a caregiver. Whether at home or in a facility, injured, disabled, or special needs people of all ages can benefit from the great value caregivers offer.

Caregivers can seriously, positively impact the lives of those they care for. If your loved one is struggling to care for themselves, you might want to consider enlisting the help of a caregiver.

People who can benefit from assisted living include people that can no longer care for their own hygiene, exhibit forgetfulness regularly, or generally just do not have the capacity to properly independently care for themselves.

Different Types of Home Care

Family or Personal Care

Family or personal caregivers are the most common type of caregiver.

Family caregivers are often a result of informal arrangements. Most families can’t afford (or think they can’t afford) a professional caregiver to care for their loved ones.

Oftentimes, when family members identify as a caregiver, they are also in the business of providing companionship for the person they care for.

Familial or personal care givers often cohabit the same home as those they care for. Even if the people being cared for don’t require skilled medical attention, family caregivers can be instrumental in helping meet the day-to-day needs of those they care for.

Meal prepping for diabetics, running errands for those who cannot drive, and even just providing supervision for mentally ill family members can make a huge difference in the lives of those needing care.

Because these arrangements are usually informal and private, compensation (if there is any) is mediated privately between the parties.

One of the advantages of familial caregivers or companions is that there is a lot of flexibility and it is usually more cost-effective for families. Of course, the disadvantage is that there is little oversight. There is also opportunity for personal conflicts to impede on care, depending on the nature of the relationship.

Private Nursing Care

Nurses are best equipped to provide home care when the person being cared for requires intensive, skilled medical care. Sometimes nurses live in the home, but often they are shift workers who make intermittent visits to provide specialized care.

Nurses and other specialists who can provide medical care are a great asset to have in the home—especially if the condition of the person being cared for is urgent or requires consistent supervision.

While some patients require intensive medical care on a regular basis, others would benefit most from incremental therapy. A speech or physio therapist can visit the home intermittently to provide care, while the patient can maintain a normal, independent life otherwise.

Personalized, private medical care is usually processed through insurance. There are some private nursing companies which may provide different payment options.

Of course, the more credentials your caregiver has, the more you and your family will pay for their services. Doctors, nurses, and medical specialists will be more expensive than physical therapists.

Professional caregivers do not always provide companionship or other services to those they care for. While not every patient needs companionship, companions come in handy for running errands and other chores around the house a medical condition may inhibit.

Some medical caregivers offer these services for a premium.

Residential Facilities

Though residential care facilities get a bad wrap as too expensive and inaccessible for most families.

But residential facilities remove a lot of other costly variables that come with care. For example, if a patient lives in a residential facility, the patient’s loved ones do not need to maintain a home, worry about groceries, or other day-to-day expenses.

Plus, patients are given 24/7 attentive care. Like lays out, residential facilities can provide acute, long-term, integrated healthcare for patients that individual caregivers just cannot offer in the home.

Certain Duties Requires Licensing

If a caregiver is not related directly to the person they are caring for, they might need to become licensed with their state to perform certain essential job functions.

One way to ensure that your loved one will receive adequate care from an informal caregiver is to ensure the caregiver is CPR certified.