Tips for Choosing the Right Caregiver for a Loved One

It can be tough to admit that you can’t care for an aging loved one any longer. Yet the right caregiver— one who’s a perfect fit —can help your loved one get out more and enjoy life, ease their guilt at being a burden to family, and practically fit right in with the family. If you make the wrong choice, however the consequences can be terrible. How do you make this kind of important decision?

Take a deep breath

Don’t fall for the trap of thinking that the choice you make today is your forever choice. Just knowing that you have the right to choose a different caregiver if you’re not satisfied eases the pressure. Without that added stress, you’re positioned to make better choices.

You may also be toying with the idea of a nursing facility or long-term care home. Again, the decision you make today doesn’t have to be the final one. You can revisit the choice in a year, two, or five. The important thing is to do what makes sense right now and leave room for tomorrow to play out as it will.

Evaluate your needs

Now you’re ready to make a choice, and the first step is understanding exactly what you want in a caregiver. Will they be helping your loved one do daily tasks? Will they be protecting you relative from falling? Will they be driving to appointments? Do you need someone who can cook, clean, run errands, or administer medications?

Once you know exactly what you need, you can talk about your needs with in-home care providers. In-home care companies will be able to offer you choices and have individuals ready to help in all kinds of situations. They also do background checks and screenings for you.

Do your due diligence

If you decide to work with an in-home care service, make sure you’ve chosen one with a good track record, plenty of choices, and robust background checks. Once you’ve chosen someone, don’t be afraid to do your own background check.

If you want to hire a private individual, it’s even more essential that you check up on anyone you’ll be allowing into your home with access to your loved ones. Use golookup to do a thorough background check, ask for references (and follow up on them), and insist on a trial period before you make a final decision.

Whether you work with a service or an individual, always go with your gut. If you or your loved one are uncomfortable with a certain person in your home, even if no one is necessarily at fault, it’s your right to find someone else!

Get everyone involved

Before you make any final decision, involve everyone with a stake in your choice. This includes your aging loved one, siblings, aunts and uncles, and anyone else with a vested interest in how your loved one is cared for.

Involving everyone in the decision will minimize issues later, as no one will be able to say they weren’t asked or informed. It may also highlight the care needs of your loved one in a way that gets more of the family on board to help out.

Don’t be afraid to ask

If you’ve never hired anyone before, giving an interview might seem intimidating. Don’t let shyness or fear of offense keep you from asking tough questions of anyone you’re thinking about allowing into your home.

Ask about experience, what type of personalities the potential caregiver clashes with, their personal history, and what they do (or don’t) feel comfortable helping out with. You can do this without being rude, of course. By clearly explaining everything right from the start, you’re doing your potential caregiver a favor, too.

Choosing a caregiver for a loved one is hard, but it’s worth the effort to do it right. Once you find that perfect person, you’ll be so glad to have them in your life.