When a loved one starts in-home care services, there are a few things you can do to prepare to ensure a smooth transition. Review the infographic below to identify how you can help prepare your loved one for in-home care.
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6 Steps to Prepare for In-Home Care
- Review Finances & Benefits: Determine how your loved one will pay for home care.
- Select the Right Agency: Choose a transparent agency that can meet your needs.
- Set Expectations: Discuss expectations with your loved one and your care team.
- Notify Family Members: Make sure everyone is on the same page about the care plan.
- Prepare the Home: Address any home hazards to help keep your loved one safe.
- Meet Your Caregiver: Get to know the caregiver and ensure they are a good fit.
Steps for Preparing Your Loved One for Home Care
Let's take a deeper dive at each of tips below.
Review Finances & Benefits
One of the first things you can do to prepare for home care services is to review finances and any benefits that your loved one has. If your loved one has a long-term care insurance policy, this can be used to cover some or all of the service hours. Know that most medical insurance, including traditional Medicare packages, do not cover home care. But some supplemental plans may provide coverage. If your loved one is a veteran, they may be eligible for the VA’s Aide & Attendance Benefit.
You will want to review finances with your loved one as well to make sure they have enough funds to cover their care. Their financial situation may dictate how many hours of service they can receive per week.
Select the Right Agency
Once you’ve identified a budget and investigated your loved one’s long-term care benefits, it’s time to select an in-home care agency. While you could find a private caregiver and arrange care on your own, there are several benefits of using an agency.
- Agencies perform background checks and verify caregivers’ experience, so you don’t have to.
- Agencies provide ongoing training that private caregivers may not have access to.
- Agencies manage scheduling, taxes, payroll, and other administrative tasks.
- Agencies can provide a backup caregiver if yours calls out sick or is otherwise unable to make their shift.
- Agencies have insurance policies. Their caregivers are bonded and insured, so you don’t have to worry about the liability of having someone in your home.
You will still want to select the home care agency carefully. Make sure you understand their hourly rate, the services included, and all the benefits they provide to their clients. Some agencies will change the rate for holidays and weekends. You should also look for an agency that supervises their caregivers to ensure high-quality care.
Know that Caring Senior Service does not change the price! Day or night, weekend or not, we charge the same rate for our services. We also conduct regular planned and unplanned supervisory visits to check in on our caregivers and clients.
Next, set realistic expectations with your loved one. Your home care agency will outline the service plan, including the days and hours of service and the types of care that will be provided. Use this care plan to help your loved one understand the care they will receive.
For example, if light housekeeping is included in the care plan, help your loved one understand that their caregiver is not a maid and cannot be expected to deep clean the house every visit. But they can help with dishes, laundry, or sweeping.
You can also discuss your expectations with the home care agency. Maybe there are certain services that you know your parent needs and you’d like them to be done in a certain way. By setting expectations early, you can help your loved one be more prepared for services and your care team be better equipped to provide quality care.
Notify Family Members
Keep family members and close friends in the loop. It’s important that they are aware that a caregiver will be coming and when. They should know what types of services are included and what things will not be included, so they can have proper expectations too.
Imagine if you didn’t know someone was taking care of mom, and you showed up at her house to be greeted by a stranger. Quite the shock! By informing individuals that are involved in your loved one’s life, you can help them avoid any surprises if they run into the caregiver or receive a call from the caregiver.
Prepare the Home
You may want to prepare your home even if you don’t have a live-in caregiver. While live-in caregivers are required to have their own space that meets certain regulations, a regular caregiver doesn’t need anything special. However, it’s a good idea to go through the home and make sure that everything is accessible for your aging loved one.
Your home care agency may conduct a home safety check to see if there are hazards that need to be addressed, like poor lighting, uneven floors, or installing grab bars. This is something Caring Senior Service does for each new client. By addressing these hazards, you can help your loved one remain safe and independent at home.
Meet Your Caregiver
Finally, it’s time to meet your caregiver! It’s always nice to meet the caregiver to make sure they get along with your loved one and will give you peace of mind. At Caring Senior Service, we match our caregivers to clients through a personality and skills assessment. We’ve found that this process helps our caregivers and clients both be happier and achieve better outcomes.
Our staff will also introduce you to the caregiver in person, so you don’t have to worry about a stranger showing up to your house for the first shift. This personal introduction can help make everyone feel more comfortable and at ease on day one.
If you’re looking for a home care agency, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local Caring Senior Service team. We are available 24/7 to discuss your options.