Being a caregiver for a loved one can be an incredibly stressful experience. If you’ve finally reached the point in your journey, when you can no longer physically and mentally meet the demands of caregiving, it may be time to start looking for a qualified in-home caregiver. But before you set out to find your potential candidate, here’s some tips on how NOT to select an in-home caregiver for your loved one.
Mistake 1: Not Creating a Plan Ahead of Time
Before you begin to research your potential provider, it’s important that you first determine your needs. Do you only need a caregiver for mornings? Do you require late night caregiving? Will you prepare meals ahead of time? Will you go grocery shopping? It’s important that you come up with a plan ahead of time so a smooth transition can be made as you hand over the reins.
Mistake 2: No Research
Hiring a caregiver with no research, or resorting to word-of-mouth recommendations. Hiring a caregiver to take care of a loved one is an incredibly momentous decision—one that should not be taken lightly, or be made on a whim. Understand that you will have to research or use a senior-care agency to help find the right fit for your family. And while recommendations can be helpful, understand that you may have different expectations or conditions to take into consideration. Think of a recommendation as your starting point, but be prepared to do the research.
Mistake 3: Not looking for Credentials
All that glitters is not gold. If you’ve found a viable candidate, make sure you take the time to find out if they have any relevant training or credentials. Do they have CPR training? Are they Red Cross certified? If your loved one’s health begins to deteriorate, you’re going to want to have someone who is trained to deal with emergencies, should they arise.
In many states, in-home caregivers are required to have certain certifications or credentials. You can check by visiting your state regulatory agency’s website.
Mistake 4: Not Understanding the Cost/ Tax Implications
Before hiring in-home care, it’s essential that you calculate the costs of that care. Do the research and determine what you will have to pay out of pocket, and what will be covered by Medicare. Because the rules change frequently, it’s important that you regularly check so that you won’t be caught off guard.
If you decide to hire outside of an agency, understand that you may be responsible for taxes and liability if the caregiver gets hurt on the job. Sure, hiring your best friend’s sister with a nursing background seems appealing, but should something go wrong, you may find yourself in the middle of a legal nightmare.