If you’re thinking of letting an elderly parent remain at home, you’re already doing them a great emotional service. Allowing an elderly person to stay in a familiar space full of memories, where they’ve raised a family and had a life is a great kindness, but it does bring with it some new concerns and challenges.
As a person grows older even mundane, daily activities such as taking a bath or remembering to take medication on schedule can become a challenge. However, investing in a home healthcare provider can bring a lot of peace of mind. Now, there is someone else present in the home to supervise and ensure safe conduct even when you’re not there. But this is only true if you hire the right person. During the interview process, you’ll be asking many questions. Some are critical to making the right decision, and we’ll highlight the most important ones.
When it comes to professionals, the three “R’s” are a resume, references, and reviews. Anyone that is good at their job, experienced, and already has a long list of happy clients in the past will have all three of these “R’s,” and be able to furnish them on request easily.
If someone applying for the job has none of these things and cannot produce them, always exercise more caution. If you’re hiring a healthcare provider from some kind of agency, the three “R’s” may not always be necessary, but even then, you should get some kind of guarantee or bond from the agency itself.
Things do not always go according to plan, and even a home healthcare provider may have something come up, or experience their own crisis or emergency. If that happens, it means that the professional obligation to look after your elderly parent is now compromised, if that’s the case, what will happen then? Is there a contingency? If you are working with an agency, is there a plan in place to handle this should a regular caregiver be unexpectedly unavailable?
This is a very important question to get a satisfactory answer for if you know the elderly person being looked after needs regular attention.
Your elderly parent may suffer from mental conditions, such as dementia, or there may be a chronic disorder that needs both medical care and monitoring such as diabetes. Different people will have different issues, but you must always make clear to a potential healthcare provider that you need specific skills or experience to deal with what the elderly parent in your life has.
If a healthcare provider has no experience assisting people in wheelchairs, for example, and your elderly mother is in one, this is a big red flag. So always ask this particular question.
This is basic, but essential to get out of the way. You must know what you want a healthcare provider to do, and you must know whether the healthcare provider is willing to do it and, perhaps more importantly, what they feel a contract does not obligate them to do. Nail down the specifics of expected responsibilities and what kind of financial compensation is in order if you’re not working with an agency.
The right attentive, professional home healthcare provider is one of the best investments you can make. This not only allows you to let your elderly parent remain at home but also provides peace of mind for you. Just make sure you make a good choice!