Watching your parents grow old isn't easy. Suddenly, you notice they're slowing down and not as energetic as they used to be. They've become forgetful and don't like leaving the house as much. What's worse, there's nothing you can do to stop this.
But aging isn't all that bad, provided your parents have some extra assistance. A little support can go a long way in helping them transition into the next phase of their life.
Like most adults, you'd probably want to take care of your aging parents all by yourself. However, caregiving is incredibly exhausting, time-consuming, and labor-intensive. There's every chance you'll struggle to balance your daily routine and senior care duties: and your parents won't be too happy about that.
So, what do you do? Look for reputable senior home care services, of course!
6 Tips to Choosing the Right Home Caregiver Services
Finding the best companion services for seniors might seem like a daunting task. But it isn't impossible. Here's a quick guide on how to turn the vague dilemma of 'my aging parents need help' into a concrete, realistic plan- and how to enlist the perfect senior home care services to carry you through.
1. Understand and Gauge Your Parents' Needs
Caring for a parent can feel overwhelming, especially when you're unsure about what to do. To solve this problem, dial back and consider how much assistance your parent needs with their day-to-day life. This could include:
- Personal hygiene
- Social interaction
- Cognitive health
- Home safety
- Medical needs
Write everything down in a caregiving notebook to keep track of their requirements and figure out ways to support them. An easy way to do this is to make quick notes every time you or someone else helps your parent with something. After a week or two, you'll have a good overview of what your parents need care with and at what times of the day.
2. Think About How Much Care You Can Provide
Everyone is in a different place in their lives.
Perhaps you live overseas and are only in town during the holidays. Or maybe, you work incredibly long hours and are hardly home.
Before you assume you can take care of all your parents' needs, stop and think about your abilities. Account for:
- Your own physical and mental condition
- Whether you'd want to move in with them
- The kind of relationship you share (are there any negative feelings on either side?)
- Whether you're hardwired to provide the type of care they need
At the end of the day, your parents deserve the best care- and it's okay if you're not the ideal person for the job. You're still being a good child by looking out for their health and safety.
The last thing you'd want is to burn out physically or emotionally. We recommend you make an honest assessment early on, so you can arrange for senior home care services from the get-go.
3. Do Ample Research
Truth be told, hiring reliable personal care for the elderly is easier said than done. There are several options available in the market, some more suspicious than others. That's why it always pays to do due diligence and run a background check on all your prospects.
Leverage the power of the internet to find agencies that match your unique conditions. Check their websites to see if they seem legit. You can also ask your family physician, general practitioner, or local social worker for a list of care providers in your area.
When it comes to your parent's health and well-being, you shouldn't take any chances. Hence, it's best to trust a respectable senior home care services provider like Seniors Helping Seniors. Our in-home personal care services are designed to empower seniors willing to live independently. We're here to take care of all the tasks that get more challenging as you age, so your parents can continue to thrive.
4. Review the Home Care Provider's Credentials and Mission Statement
When looking for home caregiver services or companion services for seniors, read the agency's mission statement to gauge what the company believes in and what its objective is for each client. Consider asking them the following questions in the initial interview.
- How do you handle emergencies? Do you have a protocol?
- How do you recruit and train staff members?
- Are your staff vetted and accounted for?
- How do you evaluate your client's needs?
- What can I expect from your staff and home health care providers?
- Do you assign a supervisor to ensure quality service?
5. Involve Your Parents in the Process
One thing most aging parents struggle with is a loss of independence. They've lived all their lives taking care of themselves- and for that to suddenly change is hard to process.
That's why it's so vital to include your parent as much as possible when you're planning for their care. This way, they'll see you more as a partner instead of someone who's swooping in and trying to remove them from the driver's seat.
Expect some resistance in the beginning. It will probably take multiple conversations for them to come around to the idea of receiving care, so be patient. Also, try not to enforce all the changes at once, unless your parents are in immediate danger. You might want to start with less intrusive approaches and increase the level of care as you go.
6. Know How to Contact the Healthcare Providers
If your elderly parents are particularly infirm, you'd want to keep a close eye on them all the time. However, this isn't always possible. This is where the senior home care services of your choosing should step in.
Make sure the service providers can be easily contacted. Check to see if they have 24-hour on-call assistance or a well-established line in case of an emergency. An on-call expert must be available continuously to keep you in the loop.
The Bottom Line
Taking care of an older adult can be exhausting. Give yourself some respite by working with a home caregiver services provider. Not only are they trained for the job, but they can also help your aging parents feel more comfortable in their golden years. And in case you don't know where to start looking, simply refer to the tips above!
At Seniors Helping Seniors, we provide reliable companion care for the elderly to bring a smile to their faces. Our caregivers are seniors themselves, carefully matched to your specific needs, personality, and preferences. We make it feel less like a service and more like a friend helping another! For more information, give us a call today!