Health and safety are two of the most important things in life. When it's time to hire someone to help you care for yourself or a loved one, don't take on the search alone. To find a highly trained, experienced, and compassionate caregiver, your best bet is to consult an agency that offers caregiving services. Tracking down quality caregiver services on your own can be time-consuming and stressful. And, to be honest, you simply don't have the tools and time to thoroughly evaluate the wealth of caregiving services available. On the other hand, companies dedicated to providing these services have already done the intensive screening and are ready to help you find your perfect caregiver. Using their deep understanding of the caregiver/recipient dynamic, medical and personal care, companionship, and safety, they've researched hundreds of providers and represent only those who offer exceptional caregiving service.
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When looking for caregiving services, you must first make a list of the recipient's personal and medical care needs. Caregiving service providers say it's helpful to them if you can describe a usual day of care required for the recipient. For example, explain whether they need assistance with chores, dressing, meal preparation, transportation, or medication. Describe the preferences and personality of the recipient, such as whether they are shy or outgoing. You should also discuss the following factors:
Level and type of care: Do you need a health aide with medical training to provide hands-on care, such as with administering medication, bathing, or using the bathroom? Or do you need companion care in which a non-medical caregiver provides social interaction and assists with basic daily activities like meal preparation? This is an important distinction, as some agencies only offer non-medical caregiving service.
Hours: How many hours of caregiver services per day will you require? Some recipients need these services daily, even on weekends and holidays. Others only need an aide to visit a few times a week. You can modify your schedule as needed to accommodate changes in condition.
Memory issues: Does the recipient have a condition that impairs memory, such as Alzheimer's Disease? If you suspect a problem but haven't consulted a doctor, caregiving agencies suggest you first get an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional. This will help the agency assign a caregiver with the right training and qualifications.
Transportation: Do you need a caregiving service provider who will take the recipient to appointments and social activities? If so, should the provider have their own car, will they drive the recipient's care, or will they accompany the recipient on public transportation? When it comes to transportation, be sure to inquire about any necessary insurance.
Meals: Are there special food preparation requirements or restrictions? Is the caregiver needed to purchase and prepare food?
Specialized tasks: Are there specific care requirements, such as taking blood pressure, blood sugar testing, wound care, catheter care, oxygen usage, or a feeding tube? Does the recipient need someone to perform these tasks or just monitor them?
Medications: How much assistance is required? Will the caregiver need to be there whenever the recipient is scheduled to take medication, or is a general oversight enough? Provide a list of medications and the method of ingesting so the agency can be aware of side effects to watch for and any requirements (such as taking a certain pill on an empty stomach).
Overall care management: Does the caregiver need to manage the recipient's total care, such as organizing medications in a pill box, obtaining refills, working with the insurance company, and scheduling doctor's appointments?