When you need help taking care of the personal needs of an elderly or ailing member of your family, getting the services of an in-home caregiver would be one of your top options.
With the help of a professional in-home caregiver, you can be sure that your loved one will receive the exact level of attention and care he or she needs right there at home.
If you’re considering the services of an in-home caregiver, here are several things you need to know that will help you hire the right one.
Types of Caregivers
Some caregivers are only expected to do the most basic tasks, like preparing food for their patients, doing household tasks, and running errands to the grocery shop for them. They may also help with personal care tasks, like bathing and grooming.
Other caregivers are qualified to do more, being educated and trained in setting up IV lines, operating medical equipment, preparing medical reports, and other more advanced duties.
According to the American Association of Retired Persons, caregivers are classified as such:
Personal Care Aides (PCAs)
Duties include providing companionship, meal preparation, grocery shopping, driving, and other basic tasks.
Home Health Aides (HHAs)
They can perform the same tasks as PCAs, but they have 75 hours of training to know how to check for vital signs and other more advanced tasks.
Licensed Nursing Assistants (LNAs) and Certified Nursing Assistant (CNAs)
LNAs and CNAs receive at least 75 hours of training to learn how to clean catheters, set up medical equipment, change dressings, administer treatments, and perform other more complex duties.
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs)
LPNs or skilled nursing providers are qualified to administer tube feedings, injections, IVs and train other caregivers.
Registered Nurses (RNs)
Nursing degree holders and state-licensed RNs have more than enough qualifications to assist doctors performing medical procedures, monitor medical equipment, and perform an array of advanced medical tasks.
Finding The Right In-Home Caregiver
If you know people who have availed of professional caregiver services, you might want to ask them for more information. It’s the best way to know whether a caregiving agency or an individual caregiver is as good as advertised.
Another way to find a reputable home-care service near you is to use free locator services like the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, which has thousands of caregiving providers in its database.
Google can also help you in your search, as most home care providers have websites and social media channels that carry information about their services, locations, and more.
Hiring Via Staffing Agency vs. Hiring A Private Caregiver
When hiring a caregiver, you can opt to get someone from a caregiving agency's ranks or hire an individual private caregiver directly.
For many people, cost is a major consideration. If you feel the same way, then you will likely think about directly hiring an individual caregiver.
However, hiring a private caregiver brings with it a lot of responsibilities, such as:
- Interviewing applicants
- Performing background checks
- Setting up responsibilities and making task schedules
- Drawing up employment contracts
- Negotiating salaries
- Buying workers’ compensation insurance
- Withholding income taxes
- Creating a backup plan in case of caregiver’s absence
If the above duties are too much of a hassle for you, then the right move would be to work with a staffing agency, which will take care of everything. All you have to do is make the payments, and you’re all good.
The Costs of Hiring A Caregiver
The cost of in-home caregiver services will largely depend on the level of assistance your senior or sick loved one requires.
If your loved one needs only basic assistance, then hiring PCAs, who charge more affordable rates, would be the way to go.
If taking care of your elderly or ailing relative requires someone better-trained and educated in performing more complex medical duties, then you should hire LPNs or RNs, who will naturally charge more.
Long-term care insurance can cover part of the cost of caregiving if your loved one has it. You might also want to check Medicare and determine if your loved one qualifies to receive benefits from it.
Hiring an in-home caregiver can be a bit tricky, and we hope you can use the information given above to help you find a provider that will meet your loved one's home care requirements.
About the Author
Sarah Keller is the Content Marketing Strategist of A To Z Home Care, a team of professional home care providers based in Phoenix, Arizona that specializes in long-term care for your loved ones. She enjoys riding horses and camping with her friends and family in her spare time.
We can Help! Our local advisors can help your family make a confident decision about senior living.