No one likes to see the people they love become less independent. This brings up a lot of feelings. For many people around the United States, the people they worry about are their parents. Life seems to come full circle when the people who took care of you when you were a baby and raised you now need you to do the same for them. Looking for home care for someone who needs dementia care can be devastating for everyone involved. That being said, there are about 5.7 million people around the nation who have Alzheimer’s Disease. By 2050, experts say this should go up to 14 million. Here are some steps you can take to get the right care for your loved one.
- Start with a conversation with your friend or family member. Before you start researching your home care options or talking to senior companion services, you need to have a heart to heart with the person who needs these services. This is never an easy thing. In many cases, the person will reject help and deny they need it. It may take more than one conversation and you may need to enlist help from other family members or medical professionals.
- Talk to the person’s physician. They should know all of the person’s health issues and may be able to give you a better sense of what the person needs. Some people need more assistance than others and the kind of care they receive needs to be tailored to their lifestyle, needs, and personality.
- Talk to people you know. Given the rapidly aging American population, there is a really good chance that you know someone who has had to hire a professional home care company to help. See where these people looked, what company they hired, what their experience has been, and if they have any recommendations.
- Get in touch with their health insurance and Medicare. Before you approach any senior care management, you need to know what the person can afford. If they have supplemental insurance separate from Medicare, you need to reach out to both. Most insurance carriers can also point you in the right direction of good companies where the person lives.
- Talk to a few companies. Do not hire the first home care company you talk to. This is a painful situation and people often want to get it over with quickly but that is a bad idea. You cannot really know what your options are if you do not talk to at least three companies. You will feel better about your decision in this matter if you do your due diligence before you hire anyone.
- Ask a lot of questions. You need to make sure all of your questions get answered before you hire anyone. A bad experience can be very traumatic for your loved one who is already in a fragile state. Here are a few to remember:
- How long have you been in business?
- How many employees do you have?
- What is your turnover like? You want to go with a company who treats the employees well enough that they stick around a while. Unhappy workers do not do a good job and you do not want your loved one to be cared for by unhappy and potentially mean people.
- What kind of hours do your people work? They should be well rested.
- What happens when a caregiver goes on vacation? Will you get to meet the replacement?
- What kind of education and training do they get?
Coming to the realization that someone you love needs home care is painful for you and for them. For them, it can be hard to admit that they can no longer do things for themselves and others that they used to do. It can also be terrifying to start to forget things, people, places, and words. The good news is that their quality of life can be greatly enhanced and improved by the right home care worker.