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Tips for finding the right caretaker

Seniors deserve the same care and support they have given their families over the years. The next step in their living situation is important. Many seniors prefer to stay at home versus a nursing home. Deciding on in-home care takes the same amount of thought and consideration as choosing the right assisted living center. There are two main categories for in-home health care services. Non-medical help assists with daily living while home health care calls for a licensed health professional. There are a variety of different in-home services to choose from, depending on your elder’s needs and expectations of the caregiver.

Some types of in-home services

  • Virtual companion care – A new wave of home care that utilizes Internet technologies to monitor the patient’s safety and mood
  • Companion care– Offers supervision for daily recreational activities
  • Homemaking– Helps with cleaning the house, shopping and making meals
  • Personal care services – Assistance with daily hygiene, exercising or other personal care
  • Medical care – Registered nurses and/or therapists provide medical and/or cognitive care

How to start the search for a safe caretaker

Once you and your family have discussed different options, you will have a general idea of what you’re looking for in a caretaker. Picking a type of care is just the beginning. When researching caretakers, there are certain resources you can tap into:

  • Friends and family – Family is one of the biggest sources of help and support for most older people. Asking neighbors, friends and family about reputable caregivers in the area can offer good leads.
  • Doctor/primary physician – While also a helpful resource when choosing an in-home service, doctors will also be able to recommend home health providers and high-quality caregivers.
  • Local government resources– Find a home health agency in your area by using s online tool. This online search allows you to compare home health agencies by using patient survey star ratings. Eldercare Locator is another online tool for in-home care services.

What to expect from an in-home caregiver vs home health care

In-home caregivers provide companionship, meal prep, light housekeeping, help with personal hygiene and daily activities, and can remind patients about medication. Comparatively, home health care provides at-home medical assistance from a licensed professional. Home health care providers do not cover the companionship or personal caretaker aspect, although both in-home care and health-care services can intermingle. A safe, fulfilling and independent life at home for seniors is often accomplished with the right services and caretakers.

Researching caretakers will reduce the chance of injuries, but injuries are still always possible. In some cases, inexperienced or/and neglectful caretakers could cause injury to a loved one. Laws are set in place to protect the elderly, and legal action can be taken if these circumstances occur.

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