As our family members grow older, many of us find ourselves in a position of having to find a way to take care of our these elderly people.
This job, however, can be even more exhausting for people with full-time jobs. One option that might be of great help is to hire an in-home caregiver to assist with looking after the elderly member. A specialized home caregiver can help with anything from grocery shopping to the necessary clinical care. Read on to learn about in-home caregivers, how much they cost, and how to find the fit for your and your family member's needs.
What Support Does an In-Home Caregiver Provide?
A home caregiver differs from a nurse. Home caregivers are primarily responsible for ensuring the elderly can perform activities of daily living (ADLs). Examples of ADLs include bathing, dressing, walking, exercise (if possible), and other activities that your loved one requires assistance with when performing.
What Factors Should Be Considered?
When deciding between home care and placing a loved one in a nursing home, it is vital to consider several considerations, as each family's requirements and household dynamic are unique. Included among them are examples like:
Location & Accessibility - How much time does it take to get to services essential such as medical appointments or pharmacies? Is the home in a safe and accessible area? Is the house modified to accommodate the aging person's needs? Does it have a stairlift or a walk-in shower?
Sense of Community - Isolation can be highly prejudicial to mental and physical health. Staying involved in community activities or being in constant contact with family can help to prevent depression.
Finances - In-home care can be very costly, especially when higher levels of care or 24/7 assistance become necessary. Making budgets and researching thoroughly for caregivers can help you find affordable solutions that will meet the necessary needs.
Elderly's preference - While all the factors mentioned previously are definitely important , keeping the elder's wishes in mind is also crucial. Sometimes, they might feel safer, more comfortable and be even more compliant if they stay at home.
Pros and Cons of In-Home Care
Some of the benefits are:
- Delegating some responsibilities will bring you peace of mind and more free time.
- More flexibility than a facility.
- Personalized care.
- Comfort and safety of being at home.
A few drawbacks include:
- If you reside with the person that needs assistance, you may lose some privacy.
- Patients or seniors may lose opportunities to engage with a community.
- May be expensive.
How much do In-Home Caregivers cost?
Different home care agencies offer other payment structures which can vary based on state regulations. Some commonly seen shifts include two-hour, four-hour, weekly, monthly, 24/7 care (typically broken up into three 8-hour shifts by three separate caregivers), and 12-hour sleeping visits.
Rates will vary based on state. On average, the most expensive states (such as Washington) charge as high as $31.16/hr, and the most affordable ones (such as Louisiana) charge as low as $17.00/hr. Rates will range depending on the extent of care that your loved one requires. Payment for home caregivers can also include non-monetary benefits. Examples include meals, housing, personal care expenses, transportation, and medical coverage.
One important note to remember is that home caregivers are often not licensed to provide medical care for your loved one. Therefore, you will have to ensure that your loved one receives medical attention from professionals that are needed. You'll also need to ensure the home is accessible for your loved one based on mobility and other ADL needs.
How to find In-Home Caregiver services?
There are a variety of agencies that offer in-home caregiver services. Be sure to research and ask for references to find a caregiver you trust to serve your loved one's needs. Some commonly used agencies include:
- Nurse Next Door Home Care Services
- Seniors Helping Seniors
- Home Instead Senior Care
- Home Care Assistance
- Visiting Angels
- Comfort Keepers
- First Light Home Care
- Senior Helpers
- Touching Hearts at Home
- Caring Senior Service
- Homewell Senior Care
Interim Healthcare, Inc.
Some agencies specialize in a particular condition. For example, some agencies will specialize in taking care of seniors with dementia, Alzheimer's, stroke, and other illnesses that need specific care and attention.
What Are Some Things You Should Discuss With The Caregiver?
Having someone come into your home to care for your loved one takes a lot of trust and self-awareness. Having an open and honest conversation with your family, especially the person who will be taken care of, can help to ensure everyone is comfortable with the situation.
An important step is interviewing to choose an in-home caregiver you are comfortable with. You want someone your family trusts who will make life easier for everyone. Your family should be aware of ADLs and trust the home caregiver can take care of the needs of your loved one.
Caregivers are an added expense, so the financial consideration should be discussed to ensure all members know the costs.
Finding a caregiver for your loved one is no easy decision. Accepting that your loved one requires care can be a complex reality to face. Luckily, in-home caregivers are trained to help make life easier for everyone and provide the companionship your loved one deserves. After your due diligence, you can feel comfortable knowing that your loved one gets the care they need.