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Senior Day Care Providers - Help on Choosing the Right One

Choosing a Senior In-Home Day care Provider can be a tough, nerve-wecking chore. Like any tough decision process, it's a good thing to start with a list. This way, you wouldn't forget something. I recommend you develop your own list for the criteria you need in a Senior In-Home Care Service, but here's a checklist to help get you started:

  1. Your Special Needs

    When choosing a Senior In-Home Care Person, first and foremost, consider your care needs and write out a list of items that you need to be provided. Be able to give examples of what goes on in your typical day, from the moment you wake up until you go to bed and include a timeline of when you prefer meals, naps, trips to your favorite hang-outs and other any activities.

  2. Hands-on Care

    How much hands-on care is needed vs. companion care? If more companion care is needed, make a list of possible activities that a companion care person could do with you. Also, if you just need companion care, then you really don't need to call the caregiver companies that provide Certified Nursing Assistants (or CNA's). The companies that offer just companion care can be significantly less expensive.

  3. Transportation

    Do you need a caregiver who can escort the client to doctor's appointments and social activities? If so, what mode of transportation will they use? Will the Caregiver drive the client in the client's car? If so, double check your car insurance coverage. Will the caregiver drive the client in the caregiver's car? If so, be aware that it will be difficult to be 100% sure that the caregiver's insurance policy is up-to-date even if you verify this in the beginning. If they have a late or missed payment the policy could be cancelled without your knowledge. Will they take public transportation (bus or taxi cab)? This is probably the safest method of transportation to prevent the risks of insurance issues. (Some cities provide special transportation privileges for seniors and you may want to contact your Local Department on Aging for information).

  4. Memory Loss

    Is there memory loss? If so, have you had the type of Memory Loss diagnosed (Alzheimer's Disease, Huntington’s Disease, Pick’s Disease, Frontal Lobe Dementia, Frontotemporal Dementia, Lewy Body Disease, Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, Vascular Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease)? Blood clots and brain tumors may also cause dementia. A diagnosis of dementia type will help the agency to better understand the care needs and assign a caregiver with the right type of training and qualifications.

  5. Language

    Do you need a caregiver who speaks a certain language?

  6. Hours

    How many hours of care per day will you require? Review the list of services you will need performed during the care visit and decide on the minimum number of hours per day which would work as a starting point. The agency will need to know the hours of service to assign a caregiver and will allow you to adjust the hours after the first week to accurately meet the care needs.

  7. Dietary

    Are there any special cooking requirements? Communicate any food allergies or specific cooking requests and consider how groceries will be purchased or delivered if the care recipient is unable to shop for groceries on their own. Will the caregiver need to cook and clean for you? You may want to ask about any prior cooking experience.

  8. Additional Skills

    Are there any "skilled" care requirements, such as taking blood pressure, blood sugar testing, wound care or a feeding tube? Communicate if these specialized services will need to be performed or monitored. You will probably need a Senior In-Home Care Provider that offers CNA services. CNA's (or Certified Nursing Assistants) are trained to do the normal things that most nurses do - like taking blood pressure, simple tests, and administering medicines.

  9. Medication Management

    What is the care recipients method for managing medications? Do you know for sure if the medications are currently being taken correctly? Be able to provide a list of medications and the method of monitoring so the Senior In-Home Care Agency will be aware of possible side effects and other requirements such as taking pills with or without food, etc.

  10. Care Management

    Will Care Management be required? As caregivers are responsible for providing the “hands-on” care, they do not have time to manage the overall care issues. A trained Care Manager can supervise all of the care needs, from organizing medications in a pillbox and obtaining refills (due to insurance purposes, this service usually must be provided by a Supervisor or R.N. depending on the state laws), to arranging doctor’s appointments and other necessary services.

I think Senior In-Home Care Services are one of the easiest ways to avoid moving into a nursing home. I know that these caregivers sound expensive, but when you begin to compare the cost of a caregiver to the cost of a nursing home or retirement community, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Starting the selection process for a caregiver is the hardest step. For more about getting started selecting an In-Home Senior Caregiver, click here.

I hope this helps,

TJ.

PS - If money is a real concern, before you hire a Senior In-Home Care Professional, you may want to consider a Medical Alarm or even a simple device like the Jitterbug Phone.

 

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