Elderly companion care aims to care for and look after your sick or elderly family member, and also to make daily living easier and safer for you as well- for example, performing errands such as grocery shopping, picking up medications, planning and preparing regular meals, performing light housekeeping duties, and offering medication.
Choosing the best elderly companion care for your loved one can be a daunting task. There are a few important considerations to keep in mind when choosing an Elderly Companion Care for your Loved One.
The first aspect you should look into is time- do you require part-time or full-time care for your loved one? A part-time caregiver will be available to take care of your loved one for specific periods only, whereas a full-time caregiver will be with your family member at all times.
If your loved one has special needs or a disease, you are advised to opt for a full-time caregiver, so that they are always present to care for your family member, especially at times of an emergency.
In-home Care or a Care Facility?
Are you looking for a caregiver who will come into your home to care for your loved one? Will your loved one live with the caregiver, or will you put them into a senior care facility?
You should also know that according to the National Alliance for Caregiving, around 58% of care recipients live in their own homes, while 20% live with the caregiver. This is true as most seniors feel more comfortable in their own homes, rather than at care facilities.
Numerous people require special care, for instance, cancer and Alzheimer’s patients. Thus, many caregivers and care facilities specialize in specific conditions or treatments, which is why you should opt for these instead. If your loved one suffers from any disease or physical ailment, you may want to consider this during the selection process.
Isolation and loneliness are what many fear when it comes to elderly companion care. Many think this will result in less interaction with family and friends as well. Therefore, it is imperative to keep this into consideration during the selection process.
Don’t opt for elderly companion care that will cage your loved one in. You should list down the activities that your loved one enjoys, such as small walks, reading, playing bingo, or watching movies. Don’t forget to inquire about the caregiver’s ability to allow social interaction. A caregiver who will be able to accommodate your loved one’s preferences or cultural activities will more likely be a better fit for them.
You wouldn’t want to give your loved ones in the wrong hands- which is why it is highly important to make sure that the person or team who will care for your family member has the required credentials. It is advised to run background checks and also look at facility reviews to make sure you are dealing with licensed and accredited individuals. This will give you peace of mind, and ensure that your loved ones will be in safe hands.
Scope of Care
If you are opting for a live-in caregiver, it is important to know that that person will not only be responsible for keeping an eye on your loved one. He/she will be responsible for preparing their meals, assisting in medication, transporting them wherever they want to go, and also run small errands. Thus, it is advised to look for a caregiver who has a broad skill set to take care of all the mentioned above activities.
Important Traits a Caregiver Must Possess
You will find numerous caregivers to choose from. No matter what type of caregiver a person may be, there are common and important traits you should look for. You should look for the following traits in a caregiver so that your loved one could receive the best care:
Patience is the key trait any caregiver should have, especially if they are going to care for your loved one at home. They need to be patient in all aspects- from feeding your loved one, giving them medical assistance, or just listening and talking to them.
When a caregiver has compassion, they will have an understanding of what the person is going through. Thus, the caregiver you are opting for must have that sense of sympathy and pity.
It is important when providing home companion care that the caregiver is attentive to the little needs and changes that are taking place. In other words, the caregiver will notice when there are emotional or physical changes in the person they are caring for.
A caregiver must be dependable and show up to provide the care that your loved one needs and is counting on, especially at times of emergencies.
If you are opting for in-home care, the caregivers will be in a position that will allow them to have access to the belongings of the person they are caring for. It is crucial for the caregiver to be trustworthy, and will not breach that trust by taking advantage of your loved one.
Prepare a Job Description
It is important to prepare a job description. List all the requirements you would need in a caregiver, an accurate description of the job, and focus on the personal needs of your loved one. This will not only save you time but will attract the most suitable candidates for the job.
Moreover, before meeting caregivers, it is important to prepare questions beforehand. This way, you can gather all of the information necessary to make a final choice. It is also crucial to listen to your loved one’s concerns or observations as well, as their input is significantly important. If he/she is able, it is advised to make them make the final decision.
Last but not least, you have to choose a caregiver that will suit your budget. This is why it is important to figure out your available assets and think of how you will make financial choices about your loved one’s care.