Few things in life are more stressful than deciding whether to hire a caregiver for a loved one. Chances are, this is one of the most challenging decisions you will ever be forced to make, and you will have to do it at a time when your emotions are already being torn in several different directions.
Obviously, you want to do the right thing for your loved one. If you’re like most people, you want to be there for them all the time. Realistically, this may not be possible. If you have professional or other family obligations, you probably need regular assistance. In other words, you more than likely need to hire a caregiver.
Below are four things that you should consider that might make the process a little easier to navigate:
What Kind of Help Does Your Loved One Need?
This is the most critical question that you will have to answer. Does your loved one need help with some of the more stressful physical tasks like showering or do they need help keeping the place up?
For some, it’s enough to have a caregiver that can help prepare meals, clean the house and do laundry. For others, it’s necessary to find someone that has some medical experience so they can help with medications or with checking vitals throughout the day.
If your loved one is bedridden or utilizes special medical equipment, it’s imperative that you find someone that has experience dealing with these types of issues. You might choose to hire a caregiver that is also a medical professional, so you know they are well cared for at all times.
Can You Afford It?
It is a question that no one wants to be forced to ask themselves, yet it is necessary. Hiring a good caregiver that comes with experience, education, and references is not going to be cheap. While you want to get the best person you can find, you also have to be realistic about how it’s going to impact your finances.
If you’re lucky, you might be able to find specific programs through your insurance company or where you work that allow you to apply discounts when it comes to certain medical expenses. In some cases, hiring a caregiver can fall into that category.
Is Your Loved One on Board with This Decision?
If possible, make sure that your loved one is okay with the idea of bringing in someone else to help with providing care. If your loved one is cognizant and can make sound decisions on their own, it’s imperative that you have this conversation with them before you do anything else. Remember, even if they can’t physically do everything they used to do for themselves, they still want to be involved when it comes to decision making that impacts their quality of life.
How Will You and the Caregiver Communicate?
It’s essential that you set some guidelines that dictate how the caregiver you ultimately decide to hire will communicate with the rest of the family, including the person they’ve been hired to care for. It’s equally important that you make it clear that they are to contact you at certain times if they have any concerns. By laying all of this information out in the beginning, it makes it easier to avoid miscommunication later on down the road about something that could be vitally important.
While the idea of hiring someone else to help care for a loved one is never going to be easy, it can be made less stressful by keeping these points in mind. It can give you a practical place to start in a situation where emotions are running high. By the same token, it can help you find the right caregiver when you need them most.