How to Choose an In-Home Care Provider.
How to Know if You Need an In-Home Care Provider.
Mary Alexander: Hi! I am Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care. Today I am discussing how to select an in-home care provider, and now I'm going to talk about how to know if you need an in-home caregiver.
Determining that your parents need help often happens in one of two ways. The first and easiest to identify is the medical condition or emergency, such as a fall resulting in a broken hip or open heart surgery that requires your parent to give up some of their normal day-to-day activities.
The other way that you can determine that your parent needs help is to look for signs that demonstrate an inability to take care of his or her regular activities. There are just over a dozen signs to look for, not all need to be present in order to spur the need for in-home care. In fact, you may choose to get help even if there is just one pressing issue.
Let's take a look at the signs that your parent might need help. Do they have difficulty walking? Are they unsteady when standing or have they had a recent fall? How is their grooming and hygiene? Are they wearing soiled clothing? Not shaving or showering as often? Are there changes in eating or cooking habits? Are they still eating well or suffering from a loss of appetite?
Check in the fridge, is the food spoiled or outdated or is there little nutritious food in the house? How is their driving? Do they suffer from diminished driving skills or have they told you recently about accidents or near misses? Are they still participating in activities they once enjoyed or have they lost interest? Do you notice any other reluctance on their part to get out and socialize? Do they have difficulty concentrating or are they exhibiting poor judgment? Are they showing signs of memory loss, forgetfulness or confusion? Are they taking any medications? Check the bottles to make sure they're getting regular refills and taking them on time.
Are they sleeping more, lacking energy or talking about being constantly tired? Are they more irritable or having sudden mood changes? Look around and see if there is any unopened mail, past due bills or bank statements not being handled.
Lastly, how is the housekeeping and home maintenance? Are they getting it done or is it in need of cleaning and care?
If you notice any of these signs and want to bring in some extra help to assist your parents, here is a list of some roles that a professional caregiver can fill, Adult Day Care & Respite Care, Bill Payment & Household Financial Management, Companion Services, Financial Planning, Geriatric Assessment, Evaluation & Care Management, Home & Safety Monitoring, Medical Home Healthcare, Home Renovation & Maintenance, Non-Medical Homecare, Homemaker & House Cleaning Services, Hospice Services, Insurance, Live-in Homecare, Meal Preparation, Personal Care, such as bathing, toileting or grooming, Rehabilitation Services, such as physical therapy, Transition Services, such as home sale, relocation, downsizing or asset liquidation, Transportation, such as errands or doctor's appointments and Private Duty Nursing.
After you decide what in-home care is needed, the next step is to have a conversation with your parents about what you've experienced and how some professional in-home care giving services might help.
When talking with seniors about difficult topics, it's important to always try to move towards solutions that provide them maximum amount of independence. Look for answers that optimize strengths and compensate for problems.
Another important approach is to remain respectful and not be patronizing. An easy solution is to put yourself in your parent's shoes and think of how you would want to be addressed in the situation. Also try to remember that not everything has to be solved right away.
Lastly, think about timing. Make sure you both have the time and energy for such conversations. Being distracted by other errands or favorite TV shows, or being overtired after a long day isn't going to help either of you have a productive conversation.
Once you have the conversation and your parents agree to in-home care, where do you start and what questions do you need to ask? We provide those answers in our next video.